Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (3)
- Author: Michael W. Zacher is a member of the stewardship committee of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
- Updated: 03/12/2008
- Copyright: Mount Olivet Lutheran Church,
5025 Knox Ave S,
Minneapolis, MN 55419-1095
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church's pastoral staff and parishioners wrote five articles for the congregation's newsletter, the Mount Olivet Weekly Visitor, for this stewardship campaign. Following is Mike Zacher's contribution to the series, which appeared in the Aug. 21, 2003, edition.
For a full overview of this stewardship series, click on
Mount Olivet stewardship.
"Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light ... He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures" (James 1:17-18).
There is a little book called "The Prayer of Jabez" by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson on the New York Times Bestseller List. It talks about the lyric of abundance -- how God has given us so much and we can ask for so much more, if we are willing to broaden our view of life, increase the flow of generosity, reach out to more people with what God has given us.
It's easy when times are tough to think inward, to concentrate on ourselves. We often worry that we don't have enough of what we really need to be comfortable or free. That, my friends, is a myth -- the myth of scarcity. Look around at "the gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light ... ." We are blessed, wealthy people, living lives of abundance.
The lyric of abundance is about taking care of others and the myth of scarcity is about taking care of self. Look at your personal financial picture: how much is devoted to "taking care of me" and how much goes to "taking care of others?" Is that O.K.? We are blessed, wealthy people and we often spend the majority of our financial gifts and time to take care of self. Hmmmmmm.
Look at the things we spend money and time on today that we didn't consider necessities 10 years ago. The most significant change in our world in the last 10 years was the internet, right? That caused our standard of living to escalate quickly, with all sorts of opportunities. But there were costs, too: Access to the internet involved new expenses for items like computers, printers, desks, internet service, games, digital cameras, etc. And that is only the monetary cost. There is also a tremendous time commitment involved -- time that previously was devoted to other pursuits.
As we consider our blessings and how to use them, I like what Paul Batz, vice president of MDA Consulting, once said: "Keep in mind these things -- think beyond my own neighborhood, my own city and state, my own country ... think globally. If I have money in my pocket right now, I am richer than 75 percent of the people on the planet. If I have money in the bank, I am wealthier than 94 percent of the people on the planet."
We are a blessed people, a wealthy congregation. Let's embrace the lyric of abundance and generously pour out our gifts on the people who need them most, for God intends to be "showing us off as the crown of all his creatures" through our living, loving and giving.
Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (1)
Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (2)
Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (4)
Gifts from Heaven ... Rivers of Light (5)