A while back I attended a weeklong CREDO retreat for clergy. During that retreat the participants were asked to look at four aspects (spirituality, health, vocation, and finances) of our lives from the perspective of God’s abundant gifts to us and how we were to use those gifts for self and family and ministry. The word, “credo” is a Latin word translated, “I believe” and is centered in the Creed we recite at Holy Eucharist. However, in the context of the Creed and the CREDO experience, the word, “credo” is more than assent to and belief in something, for it means I give my self to this; I embrace it with all my heart.
When one combines the principle of “I embrace this with all my heart” with the theology of God’s abundant gifts to oneself, it is impossible to look at self, family, ministry, and even life itself from an idea of scarcity. The theology of scarcity does not embrace the abundance of God’s gifts to each of us and lacks trust in God to provide. The theology of scarcity starts with self and my needs and stays there. It often expands to using my gifts, whether skills or money or time, as a weapon or a bartering tool. One cannot embrace the Good News of Jesus Christ and live out of scarcity. The Good News will settle for nothing less than all my heart, my soul, my mind.
The theology of abundance, on the other hand, looks at God as the provider and giver of all things and seeks to use the gifts we have received from God in the way that reflects the glory of God and for God’s purpose. It is true that we must also consider our personal and family needs in this approach, but it is surprising how readily our personal needs and those of our families are met when our perspective changes from scarcity to God’s abundance.
During the remainder of October and into November we will begin in earnest our Pony Express program for St. Paul’s Church. An important part of the theme of Pony Express depends on our individual willingness to look at our finances, talents, and time from the theology of God’s abundant gifts to us. Your generosity is responding to God’s abundance, reflecting Gods’ presence in your life, and sharing in God’s glory.
~ Fr. Al Jewson
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.