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'The Treasure Chest'




Imagine those grade-school homework assignments where we have to draw a line to match one set of items with another. In this case, imagine the givers on one side and their gifts on the other.  Could you match gifts and giver correctly?


Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
April 30 ,2007



You can't tell a giver by her 'cover'

I have been watching the new TV show Identity.  d book about stewarship called, Ask, Thank, Tell, by Charles Lane.

It recommends, as do many such books on stewardship, that pastors should know what their people give.  One of the pastors in attendance vehemently disagreed.  The pastor said he believes that he knows what they give because he knows each one of them.

I sat there thinking that the pastor is either clairvoyant or he just thinks he knows.  The people you think are really generous givers are not necessarily, in truth, the most generous.

If there was a show in which the contestant has to pick the most generous person, few people would give.  Or lets go a little low-tech and imagine those grade-school homework assignments where we have to draw a line from the giver to the gift -- the givers listed on one side of the sheet and the gifts on the opposite side.  Could you match gifts and giver correctly?

Yesterday I got a call from a woman who wanted to give to my discretionary fund.  She said that she felt that God had really blessed her, and she wanted to give back when she could. ( By the way ,since I wrote an article about a family I helped, I got money coming in from several states to help.)  But for this woman who feels truly blessed, it wasn't because she has had some great healing or won the lottery. 

This generous woman gets around in a wheelchair and is getting progressively weaker.  But she has a strong faith.  And she feels blessed by God's presence in her life.  She feels blessed by the people that God has given to help her, but also those God has given her to help.  She gets it as well as anyone I know what it means to live life in Christ.

Would anyone draw the line between this woman and the gift? Or chose her as the generous person on identity?  It doesn't matter because she has drawn that line, because she understands her identity based on whose she is.  She belongs to Jesus Christ.

Lord,  May our identity be formed by our relationship to you.  And may we learn that we can never be more generous than you.  Amen

Copyright 2007 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.