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'The Treasure Chest'



 Those of us who are running around busily trying to do more things than we really should anyway can get really resentful of giving some of our precious time to those who seem to have too much of it.

Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
December 26, 2005


We are God's helpers in generosity

There is a giving tree in the narthex of our church this year.  People bring presents for children that are unwrapped so that parents at the Providence Rescue Mission are able to pick out what their child would like.

There was a similar program in the Lutheran Churches in New Jersey when my children were small.  Every year I would let them come shopping with me and each would get to pick out a present for another child.  I wanted them to learn about generosity.  I wanted them to learn that it was more blessed to give than receive.  It appears from where I watch that they have indeed learned the lesson.

But I worried that they would begin to doubt the reality of Santa Claus or maybe just how unfair he was.  Wouldn't they wonder why Santa brought them so much and that poor children must not get as much. Why else would we be out shopping for them?

So maybe I would say that we are Santa's helpers.  Santa has so much to do that he gives part of his list to others to help him make sure everyone gets taken care of.

I so wanted  my children to  think well of Santa. This whole question of being fair begs the larger question.  What do I say to my children about God?  When some have so much and others have so little, what do I say?  Will they stop believing or simply see how unfair God is?

The answer is not far from the Santa Claus answer.  We are God's helpers in this world.  Not so much that God is too busy to take care of everyone.  Instead, God is like the parent who started out this story wanting her children to learn about generosity.  And so she gave the children each the gift of being able to give to someone else.

God could distribute things more fairly I suppose.  Although we as selfish people would find a way to skew that pretty fast.  But instead God gives us enough for all but invites us to help share it around and to see that all of God's people are cared for.

Lord, We thank you as we remember the gift of your Son that we have been given so much.  Give us generous spirits so that all may know the reality of your love.  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.