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“God’s Initiating Generosity”

This past Sunday I introduced our Stewardship Season as an opportunity to remember the deep truth that everything we have is a life-cultivating gift from our loving Father: “God so loved the world that he gave….” Our grateful response is to become givers as well, and so continue the life-cultivating intent of our Creator. Living is giving. Giving is living.

“Stewardship” is one biblical response to this truth. We are created to be stewards of God’s gifts (Genesis 2), and we are saved to be stewards of God’s grace (Ephesians 2). Stewards, remember, are those who manage God’s resources according to his vision and values (Tim Keller). Each one of you has been placed in a garden as God’s image-bearer, called to steward your time, relationships, resources, talents, and money in ways that cultivate life. (Immanuel has been place in a garden as well, with the same call!)

This Sunday we will focus on the biblical response of “Generosity.” Two passages will guide our reflection which, by God’s grace, will move us into generous action. The first is the story in Luke 7:36-50 of the woman washing Jesus’ feet with her tears and perfume—a whole bodied, self-emptying (and wallet-emptying) outpouring of generosity. The second passage is 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, in which Paul calls for generous giving in order to provide for people in need. Both examples of giving are responses to God’s initiating generosity in the gift of Jesus: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…” (John 3:16).

Paul makes this connection explicit earlier in this same letter. The reason he provides as to why we are to give generously, is that “you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

I look forward to celebrating God’s generosity with you this Sunday in worship.

Your Pastor in Christ,


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