The tune to “Take My Life and Let It Be” has been running through my head all day. I know it’s one of the hymns we’re singing this Sunday, and when I was a child, this was the pastor’s favorite hymn around Stewardship time. So with this hymn running through my head, now I can’t get thoughts of Stewardship out of my mind. With Stewardship on the brain, let me share with you my favorite piece about stewardship:
There are all sorts of reasons why now is just not the right time to give to the Church.
When people are kids, they don’t have any money except the little bit they earn at home or at minimum wage. So that’s not the right time to give.
And when people are just starting out, they absolutely don’t have any money. Then the babies start coming, and they totally don’t have any money. So that’s not the right time to give.
Once their own kids are in school and then college, people definitely don’t have any money, so that’s not the right time to give.
Even after the kids are finally on their own and the house is paid for, people still can’t give because now they have to really save for retirement. And once people are retired, they’re living on a fixed income. That means there’s less to live on every year. So that’s not the right time to give.
In fact, it’s never the right time to give.
But on the other hand, there are all sorts of reasons why it’s always the right time to give.
When people are kids, they’re filled with idealism. Since they know the Church is working to make the world a better place, they give.
And when people are just starting out, they believe you can live on love — and the Church teaches about that kind of love loose in the world. So they give.
When the kids are in school and college, worship is the only place where people can find some time to get in touch with God and their real selves. So they give.
Once the kids are grown and gone, people think a lot about the meaning of life and what they’re going to do with what’s left of their own. Through the Church, God keeps reminding them there’s life after mid-life. So they give.
And after people retire, they have the time to act on the idealism of their youth. By now, they’ve known God for a long time. They are grateful for the way God has walked with them through the trials they have had to face. It’s the Church that has always lifted up the goodness and love of God. So they give.
In fact, for some people, it’s always the right time to give. But I guess that’s the way time works for most of us — either it’s never the right time to give or it’s always the right time to give … What time is it for you?