In this section of his letter, Paul gently reminds the Corinthians of their prior pledge, which remains outstanding. He also writes of the principles of Christian giving: to give freely, cheerfully, and wholeheartedly. Also, to trust that God will provide abundantly for our needs, so that we can continue giving generously, and God will provide abundantly, and we will give generously, and so on and so on.
Paul is referring to money, and money continues to be one of our needs. Today, we hold stewardship campaigns so that we can budget wisely. But that is only part of the picture. We also need pledges of time and talent to enrich and to grow the Body of Christ.
At St. Matthew's, many pledges of time and talent have been made. They are made visible by individuals who generously and lovingly:
Educate our children on Christianity;
Tend to our grounds and buildings;
Prepare the altar;
Assist with worship;
Greet and assist newcomers;
Visit those hospitalized or home-bound;
Lead prayer in assisted living facilities;
Gather to pray on Sunday evenings;
Lend their voices and instruments in praise and thanksgiving;
Arrange the altar flowers;
Document monetary giving;
Meet regularly to plan and to discuss our church and community needs;
Plan our fellowship gatherings;
Quietly perform behind-the-scenes services;
And so much more!
Many pledges of time, talent, and treasures have been made. Have you kept yours, or does it remain outstanding?
Dear God, fill us with grace to cheerfully give of our time through acts of service, to develop our talents and to use them freely, to manage our treasures wisely so that we may give generously -- all for Your honor and glory and in thanksgiving for your "indescribable gift" to us. Amen