All things come of thee, O Lord; and of thine own have we given thee. "—1 Chronicles 29:14b
There is only one place in the Bible I know of where God literally dares us to take him up on his promises. It happens in the third chapter of Malachi: “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down an overflowing blessing (3:10).”
I’m fond of saying that if you put all the great themes of Scripture on a pie chart, the largest chunk would involve the theme of our giving. This would include our care and concern for the poor and needy, of course, but as the prophet Malachi points out, our giving has more to do with us than anything else. Giving to God reveals trust, giving to God reveals joy, giving to God reveals relationship.
Saint Luke’s Church is an amazing place, with an array of resources and programs for every age. It is also a Holy place; a place to meet God, to say our prayers, and to support our journey in faith. As Scripture makes it clear, a crucial part of this journey is our giving. True, we need your gifts to support the budget and to plan for the coming year, and if you are wondering what to give, then the Biblical standard is the tithe, or ten percent of our income. For some, the tithe is a goal, and for others, a launching pad to greater giving. But the more important issue, even more than programs or budgets, is the blessing that follows.
And these are the blessings – God wants us to be whole people, to know peace, healing, and deep joy, and he sent His Son Jesus, the greatest gift of all, to make this life possible for each of us. What else can we do but to respond with grateful hearts? What else can we do but love the world the way God loves the world, to give the way He gives each day…
Please join me in the adventure known as Christian Stewardship, and see if the windows of heaven will not open in an overflowing blessing!
The Rev. Richmond Webster
Gracious, loving, and giving Father, from whom comes every good and healthful gift, help us through our faithful Stewardship to acknowledge that all things come of you, and to learn that truly it is in giving that we receive; give us grateful hearts, and make us cheerful givers who experience joy and grace as we put our trust in you; guide us and strengthen us as we make our gifts to Saint Luke’s for the spread of your Kingdom; all of which we ask in the name of your greatest Gift, your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.