The Art of Re-gifting

I'm in the midst of preparing for Sunday's Sermon-- the last in our "Foundations" series.  An important part of being healthy in God's house and our house is handling our finances well.  I know that in my own life, if we're going to have a family argument, it will probably be about money (or me leaving dirty coffee mugs around the house).  At church, the longest deacons meetings and session meetings are often around budget time.

Money is a sensitive issue in the church, and like politics and sex, it's not something we discuss in polite company.  While money will be a part of this final sermon, the big picture is really about sharing the gifts that God has given us-- "re-gifting" if you will (thus the picture of fruitcake-- the ultimate re-gift).  It means a lot more than money.

I was reminded of an article in Time magazine a couple of years ago called "Does God Want You to Be Rich?  It's available here.  Here's an excerpt:

In three of the gospels, Jesus warns that each of his disciples may have to "deny himself" and even "take up his Cross." In support of this alarming prediction, he forcefully contrasts the fleeting pleasures of today with the promise of eternity: "For what profit is it to a man," he asks, "if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" It is one of the New Testament's hardest teachings, yet generations of churchgoers have understood that being Christian, on some level, means being ready to sacrifice—money, autonomy or even their lives.

But for a growing number of Christians like George Adams, the question is better restated, "Why not gain the whole world plus my soul?"

That last sentence is very chilling, as it's easy to find examples on TV or bestselling books of how the gospel of Christ's saving grace has been perverted into a money-making scheme.  I hope you'll join us at Effingham Presbyterian this Sunday for a challenging look at what the Bible says (and doesn't say) about sharing God's blessings with those around you.


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