“I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 1:3-6).
A month ago, we began a worship series on stewardship using the theme “Our Money Story.” The series has four parts: remember, release, reimagine, and restore. We all have a money story, whether we think about money as telling a story or not. The way we interact with money–spending it, saving it, wasting it, giving it away, hiding it, losing it, refusing to talk about it–can say something about who we are and what our priorities are.
Considering our own financial narratives invites us to discover and tell our money stories in light of God’s money story of liberation and justice. This series encourages us to transform our stewardship practices into more full expressions of who we are and what we believe.
In worship, we tell a story of an unfettered love that changed the world. We tell a story of how we live and how we long to live. We tell this story to remember who we are and to be released from the narratives that trap us. We tell this story to reimagine this world to see what God sees and to be restored to right relationship with God and neighbor.
This theme is intentionally direct—it invites us to name exactly what we’re talking about and not skirt around it. Money and possessions are one of the most common topics in scripture, and Jesus talked about money more than faith or prayer.
The worship series is accompanied by pieces of art that illustrate each text. Artist Hannah Garrity wrote these words to accompany one of her pieces: “It is inspiring me to engage financially with the Church in a much more personal way. With sudden clarity, I connected the fact that Jesus’ Church is the financial ideology I believe in. The hypocrisy that Jesus observes… is the same hypocrisy that I have always struggled with as a member of the Church of the present. So, what actions can I take, what questions can I ask, and what conversations can I have to ensure that the Church I am giving to is the Church Jesus meant to create?”
This stewardship season, we invite you to remember, release, reimagine, and restore your money stories so that we can write the one God is calling us to live into. I believe that God’s story has the power to change the world and I believe that our church is an important part of the story of our community. We are the ones writing the story of our church, and we can choose to write that story to be as exciting and innovative and inclusive and interactive as we want it to be. How can we make sure that our story continues to be one that we are proud to tell?
In this season, may we remember God’s loving and liberating work. May we release that which binds us. May we reimagine this world to see what God sees. May we be restored to love of God and neighbor.