Sunday, October 13, 2013

Beryl Jantzi: Money matters according to Jesus

Holistic Stewardship: Money and possessions
Matthew 6:1-4, 19-21, 24-25

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Guest preacher Beryl Jantzi, Stewardship Education Director at Everence, started off our stewardship series with a sermon on money. Brief summary:

Money does matter to Jesus.  In the center of the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in Matthew 6 we have three references to this issue.  Almsgiving matters and is an expected part of our engagement with the community around us.  “Whenever you give alms,” (6:2 ) do so in a way that does not draw attention to yourself.  Combine this with Acts 10:1-4 and we get a clear indication that almsgiving is noticed by God  and that generosity is as prominent an act of worship as prayer.

Matthew 6:19-21 gets us thinking about generosity as an investment in our own future as well as the future of others.  Since nothing enters heaven except our soul maybe these investments have to do with relationships.  First our relationship with God but also our relationship with the people God brings into our life. 

Matthew 6:24 is too often separated from vs. 25.  The word, “Therefore” beginning vs. 25 is a bridge word and suggests that serving God (vs. 24)  is the reason we need not worry (vs. 25).  Since this issue of money seems to matter  to Jesus maybe it’s a subject that should be discussed more openly – even in the church. Since money is talked about more frequently than any other subject in scripture – other than the Kingdom of God – maybe it is something that impacts what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

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