Jesus set a pretty high standard when it came to following him. He didn't just go around healing and helping those in need, he called them to step up and do things. Things like leaving their families, their homes, and traveling with him on a journey toward sacrifice. Multiple times in the Gospels, Jesus teaches about the costs and benefits of following him; of being a disciple, a member of the Jesus Movement. On the challenging side, he called us to take up our cross and follow him. He told us to devote ourselves, to deny ourselves, in essence, to give ourselves 100% to the embodied life of oneness with God. Within this call, are tangible acts of devotion. If you want to know where you are in your discipleship, evaluate how you live, how you give, where your time is spent. Then you'll know.
At St. Paul's, we are partnering with each other to devote ourselves to Jesus and to support the kingdom of God in our corner of the world.
As part of that work, we give financially in two ways. First, we give to the church's operating budget. This giving is absolutely necessary to support our common life and ministry. We give because we love sharing this life together and because God calls us to give a portion of our income as a part of our discipleship.
We also need to give sacrificially. This is a giving that exceeds what we think we can afford. It is an offering to God in trust. It's between you and God what that looks like in your life. It may be on a case by case basis where you listen to the Holy Spirit's nudge, or it may be an intention for the year to give more than 10% of your net income. However you sacrifice, the meaning is the same: you are trusting God and expressing thanks and praise through this offering.
Both these forms of giving are essential for our Christian Growth. Together, let's continue to give back, thanking God for the blessings of this life, and the life to come.
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.