Minister’s Letter November 2014
As I sit down to write this letter I do so after reflecting on this morning’s service when members of the Finance Group helped lead the worship. They chose the hymns, read the Scripture lessons, lead prayers and spoke on the subject of Stewardship. As I have reflected on what our Treasurer David Cruikshank shared with us, I am also aware that with this issue of the Torch you will receive information about Stewardship – and so I want to encourage you to please read it and also take the time to reflect on it too.
When people think of Stewardship they tend to think primarily of money, but David highlighted to us all that it was more than that, as he spoke of the giving of our time and talents too.
When you read the Gospel of Mark you will find within the fourteenth chapter, the story of a woman named Mary and her alabaster jar. (Mk 14:3-9).
I want you to think about that alabaster jar for a moment. For you see, the truth is, we all have an alabaster jar. They come in different shapes and sizes, and sealed within is all that we prize – our treasured earthly possessions. Occasionally, we break the seal, remove the lid and share – as we know we ought. But we do so carefully, with great control, anxious to get the lid on as quickly as possible. So much of life seems to be spent preserving and conserving what we hold in our alabaster jar.
Mary’s gesture should make us stop and think, for it brings with it the question of good stewardship that everyone must answer – “What will you do with your alabaster jar?”
Ultimately, good stewardship is not only a matter of wise money management and responsible giving. It is a matter of extravagant love. As Christ died on the cross, he poured out his love extravagantly for us - for he died for us.
How do we respond to his extravagant gift of love? What should we do in return? In the words of one author …
“The Saviour had come to earth to break an alabaster jar for humanity. And Mary had come that night to break one for him. It was a jar he never regretted breaking. Nor did she.”
And if we break our alabaster jar and share what it contains, then nor will we.
Lois Cheney in her book, God Is No Fool, tells about a man who tried not to get too involved in things, who tried to keep life at arm's length.
“He decided not to love too much because love cost too much. He decided not to dream too much because dreaming only brought disappointment. He decided not to serve too much because serving got your hands dirty. He decided not to give too much, because giving meant sacrifice. When he died, he presented his life to God--undiminished, unmarred, and unsoiled by the messiness of the world. He proudly said, “God, here is my life!” And God replied: “Life? What life?”
I wonder how much we could impact God’s kingdom if we each opened our alabaster jars and shared freely of our time, our energy and yes, even our earthly possessions. I wonder too how our own lives would be impacted.
Until the next time - The Lord, bless you and keep you.
Your minister ...