It’s hard to say how much people really invested. Sure, there were the obvious statistics: the jackpot was $650 million, the cost of a winning ticket was just a single dollar, and the odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery last Spring were 1 in 176 million. It’s not hard to find the statistics, but it’s hard to say how much people really invested. How many people were just looking for a cheap thrill - some easy entertainment? How many were actually dreaming about a life transformed? Despite the odds stacked against them, how many watched those lotto numbers come up, one after another, and felt disappointed, let down, or crushed when the lotto didn’t change their lives this year? It’s hard to say just how much people really invested.
Believe it or not, it’s the same question we find all over the Gospels. We saw it last Sunday when, Jesus sat down and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums…. But it was hard to say how much they really invested. Were they just going through the motions, doing their civic duty? Or were they actually investing in the hope, the promise, and the work of God’s Kingdom? How many people threw their money into the treasury and felt disappointed, let down, or crushed because they knew God’s Kingdom probably wouldn’t change their lives that year?
A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins… and he said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.” When it comes to Christian giving, the real question isn’t whether we’ve invested our whole bank account. It’s whether we’ve invested our whole selves. The real question is whether our Christian journey is just about going through the motions, just doing our civic duty, or whether we’re actually investing our selves in the hope, the promise, and the work of God’s Kingdom. The sad truth is that this poor widow only had two small coins to her name. That’s the only reason it was so easy to see how much she really invested: everything she had.
This year’s stewardship drive is about investing our whole selves. As we discussed last Sunday, our financial pledging has never been higher (!) and we’re closer to a balanced budget than we even imagined (!). Our Stewardship Flyer gives a pretty clear snapshot (HERE). We have many people to thank, and many have faithfully “put their money into the treasury.” But the real question isn’t whether we’ve invested our whole bank account. It’s whether we’ve invested our whole selves, whether we’ve invested our selves in this community of Christian worship and service. I invite you take your Pledge Card and join me by investing all of our selves in the work of God’s Kingdom. And I invite you to imagine what it would look like for someone to visit St. C’s and say, “Truly I tell you, these people have invested everything they have.”
The Rev’d. Eric M. Hillegas
PS - Please make every effort to return your pledge by Dec. 2 to assist with our annual budget. If you have not received a Pledge Card please contact the Church Office.