I recently attended a Leadership Institute course at Union Seminary that focused on preaching and teaching stewardship and what it means to have “enough.” Chuck and Laura Mendenhall challenged us with the question, “In an era when there isn’t enough, how do we teach/preach generosity?”
Laura has written a six-week series of lessons from the scriptures that explore dimensions of what it means to have enough. This curriculum is part of the Being Reformed Series and can be purchased from the Presbyterian Distribution Center.
One of the primary texts is I Timothy 6:17-19:
“As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.”
Most of us have trouble believing we are smart enough, good looking enough, fit enough, educated enough, successful enough, rich enough, influential enough to make a difference. Many of us wake up feeling behind and go to bed beleaguered by what we did not get done.
Laura challenged us with these questions:
- What influences our decisions regarding how much is enough?
- How does the fear of not enough affect us as individuals and as a church?
Spend time re-reading the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 found in all four of the Gospels. Imagine what it might be like in our community and our world if we were willing to share our resources and to collaborate with one another so that everyone’s needs are met.
Let this be your prayer:
Thank you, dear God, for all the ways you feed us…
Giving us what we most value in life…
We implore you to free us from the myth of inadequacy,
To strengthen our ability to trust in your faithfulness to us,
We commit ourselves to see Your Kingdom first.
O God, whose grace is sufficient for all our needs, hear our prayer.
Deborah Rexrode, Associate for Stewardship
Presbytery of the James