Offering a bit of a sneak peek into the Rector search process … when I was asked by members of the Search Committee and the Vestry about my comfort level when talking about money, I replied, “I love talking about money!” And I do. It is not because, by Southern standards, I am exceedingly rude (although I might be, I suppose); it is because I love talking with people about meaning in their lives. In the same way that I enjoy talking about the deeper meaning of art and music when it is a source of spiritual inspiration, I enjoy talking with people about how the gifts that God has given them might be a means for them to make meaning in their lives.
Each of us hopes to leave a mark in our lives. Whether it is in our children’s thriving, or a small nest egg that we have left our spouse, or in a library reading room named after us — there are so many ways we hope to leave some small legacy so that we might be remembered as a person who cared — a person who cared enough to leave a mark. This is meaning making at its most basic.
God gives us so many gifts in our lives, which we can use or misuse. We are given time to devote or to fritter away. We are given relationships that we can either cherish or exploit. We are given money that we can either invest or hoard. I pray that you will consider investing with your faith community. I pray that you will invest not out of guilt nor out of obligation — this is not a spiritual vending machine — I pray that you will invest in this community as a way of making meaning in your life.
Each Sunday we watch as the offertory procession (the movement of financial gifts and bread and wine) makes its way toward the Altar. That procession comes to the foot of the Altar and the Celebrant blesses the gifts that have come forward. The prayer that I say over them is this, “May these gifts be blessed by Him for whose Kingdom they are to be used.” Every penny you send forward, figuratively and literally, goes for the work of the Kingdom. We work, pray, and give together so that God’s love might be made real to a world that aches for love.
If you are looking for meaning in your life, I hope that you might see in this place a way to make meaning with the gifts that God has given you and send up your gift to the Altar to be blessed and given that the world may see and know that God is with us.