God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
At the heart of our faith, we are to devote our lives to the things that matter most to God. God will not be bought with gifts or piety or religious activity. What God wants most is for our hearts to care about the same things that God cares about. Where there is injustice we are to work for justice. Where there is isolation and loneliness we are to bring kindness and mercy that restores relationships. And we are able to see these things and sustain this work because we humbly pay attention to our relationship with God.
That puts this week’s capital campaign and stewardship emphasis in perspective. Martin Luther was very clear on why we give what we give. We do not do it to appease God or to offer God what God wants. God is God and the whole creation is available. No, there is nothing we can give God that God actually needs. We give out of gratitude to the things that matter to God. We do so to make the world God loves be more filled with the love that God has for the world. Ultimately, Luther said that if we love God we show it by loving our neighbors.
This week, we ask all of us to pray about our giving to the work of the church. That includes both the ongoing work of the church to provide worship, education, service and more to the both the local community and to members of the church. That work continues to be stretched by current resources and we need to continue to grow the base for this work by asking if God is calling us to grow a bit in our giving in the coming year.
We are also asking for an extra mile effort from people. We know that God has called us to welcome all people to the life of the church and to its work. That commitment has been regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, etc. But we have not been able to say that about people whose mobility has been limited by disabilities. As a congregation our hearts felt the injustice needed to be corrected. We believe that God is calling us to think with kindness on the people who cannot come for soup kettle, community events, worship, a friend’s funeral, or other things that happen in our space. And as we humbly listened for God’s voice we heard God say, “You can do this.”
Please walk humbly with God and listen for God’s voice in your own life with regard to these important works. Together, if Zion can strengthen its resources and also accomplish the Handicap Entrance project, we will be poised to continue to the important work of Jesus Christ for many years to come.