I hope you are all well and enjoying all this season has to bring! In our preaching series on Sundays, we are taking a brief look at stewardship, particularly focussing on the use of money and finances. In this series we are asking questions such as, how do we best use our money for God’s glory and for his Kingdom? Do I make God a priority when it comes to finances? Am I too focussed on the accumulation of wealth and not on practicing generosity and simplicity in my life?
These are challenging questions, particularly at this time of year, when Black Friday sales are plastered over the internet and the decadence of Christmas is all about us. Even as I write this, adverts for discounts are popping up on my laptop. It’s far too easy to be sucked into the mindset of “oh just one more mince pie” or “one more little pressie won’t hurt” and forget the type of people we are called by God to be. People who give, who serve, who love and who share.
When preparing to preach on this a couple of weeks ago, I was shocked to find out just how prominent a theme this is in the scriptures. 11 out of the 39 parables Jesus tells are to do with money, wealth, and finances and how we should be using them, and perhaps more incredibly, 7.5% of the whole Bible is to do with this very topic. Clearly, God thinks this is a key part of our discipleship and not simply a bolt-on to our faith. The question and challenge at the heart of our series then is this – how are we using our wealth for God’s glory in this season? Are we practicing generosity? Is our generosity extending beyond our friends and family to those who we know are in need and in want this Christmas? Are we taking what the Bible says seriously?
My hope and prayer for us this Christmas and beyond is that we will be known as a generous people – a community of faith compelled by God – the God who gave first, to share what we have and to meet the needs we see around us with open hands. To know our role as those who have been blessed by God abundantly – that we may be a blessing to others.
Perhaps for you this means simply buying a jumper or a hat for someone on the street or taking a meal round to a neighbour who is snowed under with kids – or maybe it means having a cup of tea and spending time with somebody who has no-one else to celebrate with – or perhaps something completely different and more extravagant.
But whatever you do, I pray you will know the riches that you have received in Christ and the hope to which he has called you, and feel free and able to share that this Christmas.
With every blessing,