Sunday we continue our 2015 Stewardship emphasis with an exploration of the spiritual side of giving — and the sermon series, “Why We Give.” A simple way to answer that multifaceted question is with our tagline, Love God, Serve People, Transform Lives.
Our focus Sunday is Serve people. We’ll read and consider the words of the book of James, challenging us to put our faith into action: “You must be doers of the word and not only hearers who mislead themselves. Those who hear but don’t do the word are like those who look at their faces in a mirror. They look at themselves, walk away, and immediately forget what they were like…My brothers and sisters, what good is it if people say they have faith but do nothing to show it?”
Serving people follows from loving God. In fact, serving people is a powerful way to love God — perhaps the greatest way. James’ image of looking at one’s own reflection in the mirror is an effective reminder that when we don’t put our faith into some kind of action, then our lives become smaller and our vision of our home, church, community, and world becomes little more than our own reflection. Or, looking at his image another way, perhaps he is saying that faith gives us an accurate and true look at who we are and what our lives are to be about, yet if we don’t act on our faith, then we forget who we are and what our lives are to be about.
As I think about that image of a mirror, I can imagine another facet. Mirrors in James’ time were highly polished silver, so he could never contemplate this image. But, if we imagine a mirror today, there is another way to look at the image. What is it that transforms a pane of transparent glass into a mirror? Silver. Silver has the ability to clarify and show us who we are accurately — whether generous with all that we have and are or fearfully hoarding what God has entrusted to us. Not only that, but a pane of glass through which we may look and see others and the world around us can become a mirror in which we only see ourselves — if silver gets in the way.
So, how do we embrace who God calls us to be in such a way that we see ourselves clearly as God sees us? By trusting God, learning from Jesus and living out our faith through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday. At the end of our services we all say that we will go out to be God’s people in the world. Sunday we will say it in more concrete terms: we go out to Love God, Serve People, and Transform Lives. I’m grateful to be on this journey with you!
Grace and Peace,