Never preach what you’re not ready to hear

So you should never preach a sermon that you’re not prepared to hear. Mine today was the first in a three-part series about giving, and the focus was on abundance. The basic statement was that we have a choice to focus on what we’ve been blessed with, or to focus on what we lack. Gratitude and giving begin with the choice to focus on the blessing.

Of course all that’s well and good, but the fact of the matter is that my church is looking at $9-12 K shortfall this year, and all the stewardship programs in the world won’t help this current year, and I’ve been a bit concerned about that. Abundance, schmabundance. Every so often there’s a bottom line.

Heh. Says me. The Holy has other ideas.

So a member of my congregation stopped me after church today. It’s a person who’s been through tough stuff in their life, and has come into some money unexpectedly. The individual has not told anyone about this. They may try to buy a new house, but they’ll still have some left over, and don’t know what to do with the money. So, they want to pay the church’s debt at the end of the year, and give me a donation to give to a family in need this holiday season to make their Christmas special. I know just the one, too.

“It’s like you said in your sermon,” they said, “this church has been such a blessing for me, and I want to return the blessing. It’s a gift, and that’s the best way I know to say thank you is to give it to the church and to someone else who needs it.”

O.0

um, thank you?

Yeah, that’ve been the right response. Instead, I burst into tears.

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