Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sermon 1/13/08, some thoughts

As much as we've heard about giving at church lately, I still thought Luke's message today was pretty solid. Really, Imago Dei handles the topic in a more intelligent and nuanced way than any church I've attended.

I especially appreciated these points (which existed either explicitly or implicitly in the sermon):
-Everything we have is God's. Easy to say, but important to remember. Everything we own, He made and lets us have; We are His creatures and servants. It's all His, use it wisely. In a way, this perspective pulls the carpet out from under the argument for literal tithing. Seriously, if everything belongs to God, doesn't it seem terribly conceited to say that good Christians give ten percent to Him?
-We give because God gives to us. This works several ways--1) we give to reciprocate His grace to others, 2) we can only give what God enables us to have, 3) since generosity is God's business, assuming giving attitudes can become an act of worship and a means to know Him more fully.

I liked the way Luke described giving as something deeper than mere acts of compulsory contribution, but I thought he could have connected the dots a little more plainly toward the end (to be fair, I'll grant he was speaking on short notice). Specifically, he could have said, "this isn't just about money"--something which was very much implied, but not stated point blank. I wish he would have included Romans 12:1-2--"I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..." We are called to offer God not just ten percent, not just our cash, not even just the things we seem to own, but our whole, living selves. Giving must be a way of life.


Giancarlo said...

Love this post, and yes, I agree: it's not JUST about giving money. It's about giving in general.

annie skroski said...

It's interesting when I get to listen to all three services, I think I get quite a few more ideas from the sermon, but most of my reflection on the whole aspect of giving was not about the money giving, but where my heart is in all forms of giving, basically my whole self. I totally agree with you; why should it just be about money and why should we limit ourselves? And I like how you referenced Romans 12; such a good verse.

Leisha said...
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Brendon said...

Giving of ourselves is, for the most part, lost in our culture, church, and society. Annie, I appreciate your openness in home community this Wednesday and believe that through that moment he humbled many of us into understand, truly, what he means to give, to be living sacrifices. As we say we are called to be living sacrifices, and give 10% of our money back to God I would like to say that we have lost the meaning of the word "called". By this we are actually "commanded". Jesus says, "if you love me you will obey my commands." God commands for us to give less money than He does the other areas of our lives. God is always DEMANDING more of us, calling us to greater submission to Him, in all things, which we only find when we have become stripped of ourselves. I have discovered if I'm not willing to give only 10% of the money He has blessed me with, then I'm not too willing to give up other things either. Romans 12 really does speak it well.