Sunday, February 20, 2005

God is still speaking -- to and through us

We don't take up many offerings during our worship service.

Those who are devoting their lives to following the way of Jesus should give regularly and sacrificially. Financial giving is a spiritual discipline: a lot of us who are very comfortable with prayer or study or meditation or doing good works are terrible about money. Our scripture reminds us that "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"; giving is an important part of learning to depend upon God and to let go of those things that are fleeting.

We used to take up the offering every week, but for the last couple of months we've had plates by the door and not included time during the service -- for many people, it felt more like bill-paying than devotional, prayerful time. Ideally, we'd have a dedicated physical place for individual gifts and prayer -- a place to give both money and prayer/praise in gratitude for God's gifts.

But today we allowed space and time for a special offering to go to the United Church of Christ God Is Still Speaking ( ) commercials, to be run in the days leading up to Easter. That message -- that God is an embracing welcoming God, and God's church should be also -- is so important. So many of us feel unwelcome in our families, in greater society, in churches. Or, even if we don't feel unwelcome, per se, we have no idea what it would be like to walk through the door. The GISS commercials help address at least one part of that.

I pray every day that people in the Bay Area will see Christ's love in us. I'm glad we're helping that happen elsewhere too.

God in Christ loves even you, and there's nothing you can do to change that.


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