So I never knew that the week before ‘Holy Week’ is called ‘Passion Week’. Thank you, Show me the way and Henri Nouwen. Apparently, the 5th Sunday of Lent was called Passion Sunday. The Gospel reading from the lectionary is usually one of Jesus’ predictions of his death [His Passion]. I have been challenged by our conversations about paradox during Lent– all the ways Jesus flips what the disciples were expecting in a Messiah and what they were expecting for themselves as they followed Him. These are the teachings to which I consistently need to return with my assumptions and comfort. This is where I need a prayer for humility and teachability– Jesus help me be faithful to you and what you rightly expect of me. Help me not to recreate you in my own image and understanding.
This week I talked about our love of money. Specifically, that the best way to deal with the amount of real estate money takes in our heart is to generously give it away. To that end, here are a few reminders:
- If you are a member of Restoration, remember that you have committed [to the Lord and to each other] to give a deliberate, annual portion of your money to the work God is doing through our church. Making an annual commitment before the Lord helps you avoid the traps of impulsiveness, consumerism, and convenience. It helps you plan. It helps you to pray and talk as a household about the number that gets returned to God as an act of generous, cheerful worship. Remember how we prayed Psalm 116?
What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
There are other opportunities to be generous in the weeks to come…
- We are collecting items to create care packages for homeless folks. We want to be deliberate and prepared as we look at those who are expressing need around us. Theses packages [prepared ahead of time] will give us something to give. According to our FB page, we still need white socks, individually wrapped wet wipes, and shaving cream. Check out our FB page for details on how to give these.
- During Holy Week (the services on Thursday, Saturday, and Easter Sunday) we give all of our offerings away to people outside of Restoration’s normal context. This year, we are giving all of our offerings to a non-profit that is serving severely struggling folks in Syria. It is a way for us to include all of our visitors in the generosity opportunities and a way for our church to practice radical generosity that helps us say no to the love of money.
Money is such an amazing resource for good. And money is so dangerous to our souls. Because we can trust and serve and worship it.
So as we prepare for the passion and death of our Savior, let’s humbly invite the Lord to put this ‘love of money’ in its right place. I invite you to generous and cheerful giving.
See you on Palm Sunday!