Words of Faith
Rev. Rita S. Platt
October 19, 2014
“Giving Your Treasure Back to God “ (Treasures, part 3)

Matthew 6:1-6

Sometimes you’ll get the chance to be part of something bigger than yourself. Your name may not be mentioned and you may not hoist the trophy on the stage; but as the confetti falls, you will know that you played a role. It won’t matter that you’re not getting the glory; the glory is in knowing that you were a part of it.

I felt that way last week at the CROP Walk. As we prepared to begin our walk it was announced that as of that morning $7,100 had been pledged in on-line gifts. I thought about the pledges  that were  being turned in that day. It struck me that I was a part of something so much larger. Our local walk supports the global work of Church World Service and it benefits 2 local programs: Wilkinsburg Community Ministry and East End Cooperative Ministry. As we walked – as many of you contributed – we were touching the lives of people, most of whom we would never meet.

It is a powerful thing to know that my life can play a role bigger than me.

I am going to say two words, one at a time. As I say each word, what is the first thought that comes to your mind?

Ready. . .?

“Stewardship . . .”

We are stewards of the earth.

We are stewards of those things entrusted to us, inherited by us, and earned by us.

We are stewards of physical bodies.

Maybe one of these ideas came to you mind.

Stewards are those people in ancient times who were trustees, who had responsibilities, who cared for things owned by someone else. Today you don’t hear much about stewards and stewardship outside the church. When you heard the word stewardship you probably thought of church.

There is something dutiful and legal sounding about the word stewardship.

Maybe that’s why even in the church, we only use the word sparingly.  Often only one month of the year – The Annual Stewardship Campaign. During that time some people think about supporting the church financially.

Now it’s time for the second word:

“Generosity . . .”

An aspect of character.

The opposite of generosity is selfishness, self-centeredness, greed, self-absorption.

Generosity extends beyond just the use of money.  You can be generous with your time,

generous with your teaching, with your love.

Did you have any other thoughts?

The word “generosity” seems so much better than stewardship.

During this series I have challenged you to ponder some things. Last week your homework was to reflect upon if you were a chicken or a pig.  The framework was the story of a chicken inviting his friend the pig to breakfast. Pig said “It is easy for you because you only give a donation.”

For many, stewardship is a chicken question – what donation am I going to give?

If we want to experience life more fully our thoughts have to center on the extravagant generosity that God pours out on each of us. We must respond to all that God has done for us by making it a priority to participate in what God is doing in the world. We have to be a pig: we need to consider how we are going to invest our lives.

Our time…our energy…our financial resources . . .

Because getting our priorities right isn’t a little thing. Getting our priorities right allows us to be a part of something so much bigger than what we can do on our own. We get to be a part of things that only God can do.

We stand in the confetti, finding joy and meaning in the knowledge that we played a part.

I believe that is what each of us really want… to know that we are making a difference. But we won’t get there if we are content with being a chicken.