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Some days we are the face of Christ for people who have no reason other than faith to hope that any help will come.  When we at this little way station on the way to the cross offer heat or food, we offer more.  We offer hope and a renewal of faith.


Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
February 7, 2005

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Acts of generosity, tests of faith

Pastors can tell the season by the nature of the calls.  Fortunately there have been no broken hips this winter although that is a common one.  This winter it is about heat bills.  And it is not just strangers.  Even parishioners run short of oil and need help till payday.
 
Who do you say yes to when the money is running low?  I know I will say yes to a mom with three little kids. At one point she was homeless and I remember how excited she was to find this wonderful spacious apartment.  In the summer it was spacious.  Now it is a barn to heat.  It took three jobs to break even in it in the summer.
 
When I give her the check, the response is, "Thank God."  It occurs to me that what we are doing in all parts of the ministry is faith formation.  Some days we are the face of Christ for people who have no reason other than faith to hope that any help will come.  When we at this little way station on the way to the cross offer heat or food, we offer more.  We offer hope and a renewal of faith.
 
What will I do when the money I have to offer runs out?  It will be time for my faith to be tested and others in our community to renew my faith with the generosity that has helped keep it going since I got here.
 
Every act of generosity is a gift from God and an act of faith.  Without God we are selfish and need to look out for ourselves.  With the knowledge of God comes the assurance that we will be cared for and the desire to share that knowledge.
 
Have you shared your faith today?
 
Lord,
You have so richly provided for me this day, may I share what you have given and be truly thankful in the doing. 
Amen
 

 

Copyright (c) 2004, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at mspastor@aol.com.
 

The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI.  A lifelong Lutheran, she came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric intensive care.  She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 years in Upstate New York before becoming a New Englander.  She is still trying to understand the accent.  While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship Team.  That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more, what makes for generosity. She has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of life she learned from them.