In just a week or two we as a church will enter a time of contemplating what and praying for the treasure God has given us. We will decide how and to what degree we will share of our resources for the ministries of Christ's Church here at FUMC of Arlington.
Hardly anyone I know does not struggle with what we have and how to preserve it. The Christian faith and the Bible speak a lot about possessions. Therefore our theological tradition is a good place to turn to understand our responsibilities as Christians. As Saint Augustine once wrote, “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure; where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.” Larry Pennings shared the following piece of wisdom on the subject of keeping and losing:
In Other Words, a publication of the Wycliffe Bible Translators, recently told a story about Sadie Sieker, who served for many years as a house-parent for missionaries’ children in the Philippines. Sadie loved books. Though she gladly loaned out some, others she treasured in a footlocker under her bed. Once, in the quiet of the night, Sadie heard a faint gnawing sound. After searching all around her room, she discovered that the noise was coming from her footlocker. When she opened it, she found nothing but an enormous pile of dust. All the books she had kept to herself had been lost to termites. What we give away, we keep. What we hoard, we lose.
We each have our loves, but what we share with others goes into the great repository of common human life and decency. God loves a cheerful giver because God may know that giving is the essence of authentic human relationship. People who are happy with others are generally pretty happy people.