Friday, September 29, 2006

Running Out of Time

In our last worship class, we talked about the connection between the offering and Holy Communion. As we bring the gifts to the front of the sanctuary, we are offering so much more than merely money. Our gifts extend to include, as we profess audibly just seconds later, “our selves, our time, and our possessions: signs of your gracious love.” These things are not ours in the first place – they are not objects that we must fiercely protect lest we lose them. They are “what God has first given us”, and thus are freely given back to God. Not because we “should”, but because we are able and willing to do so.

What a concept. We give our possessions – including the ever-elusive notion of time – back to God. As the offering plate goes around on Sunday, I’ve often felt a sting of guilt for not putting in money – guilt that is no doubt a remnant of the fear-soaked religion in which I was raised. Yet to think of my offering as the time I have taken to be there, in that service, communing with God, is something else entirely. My time is something that has become a precious resource lately, and to give up any of it feels like a monumental sacrifice some days.

Because, make no mistake, some change is not what we profess to offer up to God during worship. We freely admit that our time, our possessions, and our entire beings only exist because of God. Everything that we are, everything that we have, is merely a small window into the beauty that is the One whom we love.

And how good it feels to give that back! What relief!



At 1:11 PM , Blogger Pastor Lori said...

Yes. And someday, Pastor Chesnut, you will be glad that congregational members give time to listen even to YOUR sermons, and give money, that you may eat.

At 11:07 AM , Blogger david said...

The voice of clergy experience.


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