MT 6:25-34 “Commitment Sunday: Stewardship as Discipleship” JUMC 20121125

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. [NRSV]

 

 

What would it take for you to give your spouse, child, or best friend $5000?

Q!: Is it a gift or a loan?

Q2: Trust that they had a good, meaningful purpose.

If it is a loan what are the terms and time

If it is a gift what expectation, the why questions.

 

What would it take for you to give the church $5000?

1.    The real significance questions are the evaluate what resources we have accesses to use.

2.    Hear the story, dream, need or vision that we can help bring to life.

3.    Do we believe the story, dream, need or vision is something we want to see live.

4.    Addressing the competitive requests for our resources, present and future.

5.    Our response is yes, no or maybe.

 

This commitment Sunday we are hoping for a yes, rather than a maybe or no.

  • What will it take for us to believe the story?
  • See the dream?
  • Feel the need?
  • And invest in the vision?

 

Here is the story:

  • Jesus Christ reach out to us through the cross and empty tomb to make a way to connect our lives with meaning, purpose and love.
  • When we join hands and heart with Christ, we become Christ’s body, present in the world, continuing the same work and witness.
  • Jackson United Methodist Church is one of those present access points of connection with Jesus Christ in Jackson and around the world.
  • Jackson UMC has a multi-generation reputation and witness of : (we are not new to this, but we are fragile.
  • Sharing meaningful worship with great music and rich traditions and expressions of faith in our worship.
  • For generations we have seen the needs of the poor in our community and around the world.
  • For generations we have supported fully and faithfully our United Methodist Connection.
  • For generations we have longed and hoped to raise children and grand-children and great-grands in the faith and fellowship of the church.
  • For generations we have gathered in this place to pray, play and study God’s word that is will give us life, hope and love and grace.
  • For generations we had men and women of faith and vision who have made contributions of the 3Ts (Time, Talent and Treasure) giving not just one or two, but all three at the same time that have prepared for the generations that followed.

 

Building the Nest

In God’s creation we look the birds of the field, they build a nest, not for their own benefit, but for the raising and care of the next generation. The nest of baby birds cannot do it for themselves. They must be fed, sheltered and trained by the parents and the parents before them.

 

What is at stake: If we are not building and fortifying the nest of faith, the next generation cannot and will not step up to the task.

 

What is the task:

The task is sharing with another human being the love the is experienced when you clothe a child that is cold and has no coat to wear in 30 degree weather.

 

The task is our calling, or spiritual vocation, the work our heart are compelled to do, when someone is hungry and we have food, we share. Food, Clothes, Medicines, and look for opportunities to work.

 

Our task is to build up disciples who are not CO-dependent, rather interdependent. (What is the difference? We need each other’s strengths because we each have our weaknesses, but we don’t make someone stay weak and forever only needed.  It is a maturing process of become disciples.

 

The stewardship questions are honest not about specific numbers, the stories we ask of each other today, and every time we gather to be the church are this:

 

1.    What is the need?  Need for Hospitality, Worship, Growth, Service/Mission, Giving

2.    What can God do through me? I am just one, but I am able (3Ts)

3.    What can God do through us?  Together, our connection is exponential

4.    What does it look like if we do part, all or nothing?  If we cut back who will not feed, teach, save?

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