My sermon this past Sunday focused on Peter’s anxious question to Jesus after watching a rich man walk away sad because he didn’t want to part with his wealth: “We have given up everything to follow you. What then will we have?”
It’s a question any thoughtful disciple of Jesus will ask from time to time, because the “kingdom” we are inheriting isn’t always easy to perceive and participate in. Often the reality of the sacrifices we’ve made to follow Jesus loom larger than the “abundant life” promised to us in the gospel.
Sharing our money is one of those sacrifices we make to follow Jesus. It’s one of the basic disciplines of the Christian life, and a way to embody our trust in God (rather than Mammon) to provide for our needs. Giving of our resources is part of how we stand in solidarity with one another, everyone giving what they can to support our common life together in Christ.
So if you consider The Table your church home, we invite you to prayerfully consider how much you’d like to pledge for 2024. Your pledge helps us budget realistically and wisely, and as our Treasurer Ken Racke shared this past Sunday, there are no “pledge police” coming around to enforce pledges. We understand that circumstances can change quickly, and we have to roll with the punches sometimes. Think of pledging as a way to be intentional with your giving in the coming year, rather than a hard and fast promise that must be fulfilled, come hell or high water.
Finally, as you consider your giving in the coming year, recall the good news from this past Sunday:
Beloved, though it’s not easy to see, we are receiving, right here and now, an abundance of life that can never be taken from us, full of joy and justice and jubilee, a new political and social order centered on Jesus, through whom all of our needs will be provided. So, in the midst of the chaos and suffering of our world, and the sacrifices we make to follow Jesus, let us grasp the grace that is ours in Christ Jesus to see the heavenly Jerusalem all around, and stay faithful in the way of Jesus together.
Grace and peace,