I am talking about money this weekend. Interesting subject.
Money. The more you think about it, the less you understand it. The paper it's printed on isn't worth a red cent. There was a time you could take it to the bank and get gold or silver for it. Now all you would get is a blank stare.
If the government declared that the leaves of the trees were money so there would be enough for everybody, money would be worthless. It has worth only because the government declares that it has worth and because people trust the government in that one particular although in every other particular they wouldn't trust it around the corner.
The value of money, like stocks and bonds, goes up and down for reasons not even the experts can explain and at moments nobody can predict, so you can be a millionaire one moment and a pauper the next without lifting a finger. Great fortunes can be made and lost completely on paper. There is more concrete reality in a baby's throwing its rattle out of the crib. There are people who use up their entire lives making money so they can enjoy the lives they have entirely used up.
Jesus says that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. Maybe the reason is not that the rich are so wicked they're kept out of the place but that they're so out of touch with reality they can't see it's a place worth getting into.
All of us think about money every day. We have to. Culture sends us powerful messages about money. The best advice I have ever heard about money comes from John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement: “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” It is counter-cultural. Some may even say it is foolish. But something special happens the moment you dip into your treasure, however small or however vast it may or may not be, and you give away. What you are saying is something like: “God has blessed me. I love you more than I love this money. So, here it is.”
Each week many of you say, “Here it is”, when you support our church financially. Each week so many of you say, “Here I am”, as you give your time and energy. I am so grateful and thankful for your commitment. Some of you have high-profile roles that people see. Others of you work behind the scenes. Know that all of you are appreciated and more importantly, all of you are serving in a ministry that is impacting people’s lives. In just over two months, on September 9th, we will celebrate our one year anniversary. It will be an incredible day where we will celebrate all the people who have said, “Here it is” and “Here I am”. We will celebrate lives that God is changing and dream about the future.
I overslept this morning. Machelle gave me a wake-up call at 7:20. They started without me and I met them in a different lot. I ran 12.1 miles this morning with a pack of people: Paul, Will, Linda, Machelle, Christy, Kurt, Maureen, and Joanie. I did the last three or four by myself. Nice day for a fun.