A church was broken into and robbed, but when the robbers opened the bank bag, they were no doubt disappointed: it contained only $70,000 in pledge cards from the stewardship campaign.
Had they found cash in the bag, the situation would have been very different: the criminals would have made out like, well, bandits, and the church's ministries would have been severely affected. As it was, $70,000 worth of commitment offered them nothing they could take to the bank.
To the church, though, $70,000 worth of commitment was worth infinitely more than the cash. It's a promise of faith, a treasure that cannot be stolen.
The stewardship letters are out and the pledge cards wait to be returned. While we usually call this time of year the Annual Stewardship Campaign, I want us to focus on something much different. To be a steward of the blessings God has given us does not happen just once a year. It does not happen because it is budget time or a new fiscal year is upon us. It happens each and every day when the church has the opportunity to respond to "love's disruptive witness!"
We have just finished our Lenten Season and Easter celebration. We have tried to place ourselves in a different place — spiritually, economically, socially, and physically in our focus of reconnecting to an unhurried God. We have asked ourselves, "Does the promise of faith in Christ Jesus offer me an opportunity to worship slower, to work slower, to enjoy my surroundings and those surrounding me more often? Does the message of hope in a resurrected Savior offer me a transformation of life when I am just too busy to just...be?"
Will the promise of transformation of life be when I am the "perfect" steward of the blessings of time, talent, treasures God has blessed me? I wish I could answer all of these questions "yes" for you. However, the answers to all of these rely on the choices we make to respond to God's promise of new life. That's the thing about faith. It is up to us to witness where our treasures are in life. It is up to us to be the disruptive witness of God's love in our financial giving, and in our service to those where injustice and suffering is their disruption daily.
As the kids song says, "Hide it under a bushel, no! I'm gonna let it shine."
Remember these words from my introduction to our time of prayer last Sunday:
No matter the situation, no matter the problem, no matter the trouble, God is always with us. God is always ready and willing to receive us, redeem us, renew us, restore us, refresh us, and rebirth us now and always! Yes, most certainly on Easter, but every day as well!
This Sunday's message is Love's Disruptive Witness. Our text is from John 20:19-31 where Jesus visits the disciples in their locked room of safety, and then to Thomas who was not there when he first appeared.