26 Sep, 2016

Setting The Table: Week One

26 Sep, 2016

Matthew 6:19-21

By Sherry Kenney

Tis the season for stewardship (the annual campaign began yesterday!), but truly financial matters have been my whole career and a large part of my life, first as a financial planner and now as a Ministry Relations Officer with the Presbyterian Foundation, the arm of our church that cultivates, manages, and invests Presbyterians’ financial assets. Over time I’ve come to see how Christian faith informs and influences my financial perspective and practices.

Notice in this text, how Jesus says that where your treasure is, there your heart will be too. I think that implies that whatever you regard as the “treasure” of your life will become your focus, what you give attention to, and where your priorities lie. Do you think that the treasure you have is a scarce commodity, or do you possess it in abundance? A spirit of generosity is cultivated by trust in God’s providence and gratitude for God’s overflowing gifts to us.

When I was growing up, my family never considered ourselves “rich,” but as I’ve grown older I realize that most of us in North America are rich –at least in comparison with much of the rest of the world. Perhaps the first step toward generosity is acknowledging the abundant blessings we have, and to live with the knowledge that these are God’s gifts to us, not something we’ve “earned.” I feel incredibly free to give, knowing that my true treasure lies in a spiritual reality that nothing can shake: that I am God’s beloved child, and God provides for all my needs.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

~Dalai Lama

My husband and I have made provision for Central in our will, and I encourage your consideration of this as well. Yes, we have provided for our families. But we also want our children to know where our treasure lies; what ultimately is most important to us. I want to contribute to the vital outreach ministries of Central, extending my care beyond my close circle of friends and family, to those who are hungry, lonely, forgotten. To me, giving generously isn’t simply fulfilling God’s call. It’s living large and joyously!

I offer this saying from the Dalai Lama as a prayer to encourage trust in God in financial matters. Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

~Amen~

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