I have been told that the tried and true formula to use when writing a speech (or a sermon) is this:
Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.
So following that advice, let me begin here.
This morning I am going to talk about money and how we think about it and how we use it from two different perspectives. The first perspective draws upon our best understanding of the word stewardship which focuses on our responsibility to take care of and to manage responsibly that which has been entrusted to our care and keeping.
Our family. Our relationships. The environment. Our money.
Webster’s dictionary defines stewardship this way:
The individual’s responsibility to manage his or her life and property with proper regard to the rights of others.
Then, in addition, for those of us who name ourselves Christian, layered on top of Webster’s definition is what we believe about God and about our relationship to and responsibility for others.
That is perspective number one.
Perspective number two is more nuts and bolts.
It is about Bedford Presbyterian Church’s annual stewardship campaign.
Which is about budgets and bills and pledges and your participation.
And about what David Hardy shared with you this morning and the letter you received from him in the mail this past week.
So, having told you what I am going to tell you, on to telling you.
My guess is all of you have seen or heard commercials for the New York State Lottery.
How can you miss them?
Hey, you never know.
And, what about a little bit of luck.
Or, this one…
A woman walks out of a luxury department store carrying bags and bags of what she has bought to get in her car which is waiting by the curb. Or Manny, who walks right through the security check point at the airport with the agents all saying hello. Then, the voice for the New York lottery says something like, “No, not that kind of rich.” and the scene changes. This time the woman walks out of the store carrying her dog followed by a long line of people all carrying bags filled with what she has bought and instead of a car, they get on her bus. Or, Manny who walks through the airport check point on onto the plane with his name on the side.
The commercial ends with the announcer saying,
“Yeah, that kind of rich.”
If the commercials for the New York Lottery represent on way we think about money and what it is for and how we use it, the other end of the spectrum might be illustrated by this story from the Bible. [Read more…]