Monday, November 1, 2010

“The Words We Learn as a Child”

As a child most of us learned the 23rd Psalm. I can recall as a child in Sunday School proudly standing in front of the church, in my “Sunday’s best”, my hair slicked down, with the sense of importance, as my voice much louder than the rest, announcing to the congregation and the whole world: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..” Once a memory verse as a child, I now repeatedly use these exact words from my childhood in funerals as words of comfort in times of pain. When we really look at the Psalm of David, we find nothing but words of comfort. Comfort at times of uncertainly, uneasiness, and uncomfortable situations. In the seasons of congregational life, there is no other uncomfortable time for many than stewardship time. Some minister’s veer from preaching or focusing on stewardship because it can be interrupted the wrong way by a few people. They avoid addressing it because we do not want the appearance of “all the church wants is your money” syndrome. This week, we at FCC will begin a time of reflection, prayer, and focus on stewardship. Stewardship is more than filling out a pledge card, writing a check, or paying your way. Stewardship is a vital part of our relationship with God and one another.

The Psalm of David recalls that “God will anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.” When we recognize that our God anoints our head with oil, which simply means God will bless us, heal us, and pours out his blessing upon us our faith is strengthened. Stewardship is about recognition of the great things God has done for us. Our life might have some rough spots, we might be financial strapped, but if we pause and look at the totality of our life, we will see God’s many blessings. In acknowledgement of the blessings God has bestowed upon us, we then realize our cup overflows. Our cup overflows in so many ways we don’t realize. Our cup overflows with friendships of people in our faith community that have lasted decades. Our cup overflows with generations coming together in unity to worship. Our cup overflows with opportunities to reach out to a community in Christ’s name with Centralia Group Workcamp. Our cup overflows with comfort and support in the prayer shawl/quilt ministry. Our cup overflows with young people who although they may be loud and make a mess; they bring us the sounds of hope for a vibrant future. There are thousands of ways our cup overflows so we must respond. We must be willing to sacrifice something for our relationship with God. When we realize our cup is overflowing, we must be willing for the sake of our relationship with God to do more than we have done in the past. Take time today to count your blessings. Some may be out in the open, some may be hidden, but acknowledge how God has anointed your head with oil. Then we can begin to explore what true stewardship is all about our lives will be transformed as: surly goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…
See ya in church, count your blessings, and take care of yourself and one another.

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