“For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond…”
2 Corinthians 8:3
Rather than having a meme or logo for our Stewardship effort, Gethsemane has chosen a Biblical story that demonstrates a solid faith bound commitment to being good stewards both in good times and bad.
The story is part of St. Paul’s mission to make a collection for the struggling church in Jerusalem, which was besieged and oppressed by the surrounding community. The saints commissioned St. Paul to make a collection as he visited and corresponded with the churches with which he was familiar. In writing to the church in Corinth, St. Paul spoke of the generosity of the struggling church in Macedonia, and how they gave even beyond their means for the sake of the church. Then, encouraging the Corinthian congregation he wrote, “I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) St. Paul reminded the Corinthians of the abundance with which they had been blessed, and the eagerness with which they had already begun. St. Paul reminded them of the circular nature of the blessings they had received and were now being asked to give.
As stewards who believe that we give from abundance, that God’s gifts are always greater than our need, and our need to respond to God’s abundant love, we must continue to challenge ourselves to the next step in giving support for our congregation’s life and work.
“I rejoice, because I have complete confidence in you.” (2 Corinthians 7:16).
Paul expresses his confidence in the people of Corinth to achieve the undertakings placed before them. As a congregation with a long history of experiencing God’s abundance, we have faith that like the Macedonian Christians, we too, can use our stewardship to make a common confession of faith. So it is that with joy and confidence in the Body of Christ here at Gethsemane, that we invite everyone to be open to the spirit of gratitude that will allow us to extend our generosity so that it speaks with the sound of trumpets, the name of the one we confess as Lord and Savior.