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 I don't have to be a good steward.  And I don't have to tithe.  I don't have to take care of my neighbor. So now, what should I do today?  I get bored really fast if I don't do anything. 


Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
December 5, 2005

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Retirement and the Kingdom of God

Okay so my new discovery may be deleterious to my career here as a stewardship writer.

I made the discovery recently while I was thinking about the sad state of affairs that exist regarding my ever being able to retire.  I have made a few too many job changes and then a major career change.  I don't have very much pension saved up.  So I may have to work forever to earn any real rest in retirement.

But it made me start thinking about how we long we need to work and how much we need to do before we earn our rest in the Kingdom of God.  When will it be enough and we will know full well that we will be welcomed into the Kingdom and God will say, "Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy  of your master."

The more I thought about it the more I realized that I don't have to do anything.  I'm a shoo in.  Remember, God promises to see Christ instead of me when God looks at me.  And He did it all.  He earned for all of us the kingdom.

So I don't have to write this column and I don't have to be a worker in the kingdom.  I retire.  I am on a full pension anyway.  The joy comes to me fresh every day when I wake up and wash up and remember my baptism.

And I don't have to be a good steward.  And I don't have to tithe.  I don't have to take care of my neighbor. 

So now, what should I do today?  I get bored really fast if I don't do anything.  Have you ever noticed how busy most of the retired people are?  And how much they get done?  I think that is because they are doing things they like to do and that give them joy and not out of any major obligation to an employer.

So lets all retire from the Kingdom.  And stop feeling  obligated to do a thing, because we are not.  Our salvation does not depend on it.  Take a real Sabbath.  Get some rest.  And then when you get bored enough I bet you will start thinking about what you like to do and what you are good at, that is the gifts God has given you, and you will find plenty to do that gives you joy and blesses your neighbor in the process.

Lord,
We think you for the blessings you have given us and the good news that frees us to live with joy in your kingdom.
Amen

 

 

 Copyright (c) 2005, 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.