Thought for the week; point to ponder

‘All things come from you and of your own do we give you.’
As we come to the end of our Harvest thanksgivings we are grateful for all good gifts that come from God. You might wonder what words I say when I receive the offertory plate, hold it towards the cross and then place it on the altar. I usually say, ‘Yours Lord is the greatness, the power, the glory, the splendour and the majesty. Everything comes from you and of your own do we give you.’
Giving is not simply about giving money, important though that is for the life of our churches here in Withamside. I am mindful of giving that happens in so many ways- time, talents, giving of yourselves in fellowship with one another. I am very aware there is a lot of hidden giving in terms of finance, where people say, ‘Oh you can have that’ or quietly do a job and never reclaim any expense incurred. For all of these things I am extremely grateful and humbled.

So as those who are Planned Givers (and perhaps some who might feel moved by God to offer Planned Giving as part of their thanks) re-fill their Bank Forms, can I just ask that we pause in prayer and seek God’s guidance on our giving. Let’s pray about these Biblical principles:
Give freely, wholeheartedly, with integrity, having a joyful heart (I Chronicles 29:6-9, 17) – give out of love rather than law.
Give liberally and generously (2 Corinthians 8:1-2) – give the most amount possible rather than the least amount.
Give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7) – give because you want to give, and not because you feel obligated to give.
Give secretly (Matthew 6:1-4) – we give to God, and not for public acclaim.


Pause for thought:

Man says, ‘Show me and I’ll trust you.’
God says, ‘Trust me and I’ll show you.’

Spirit of peace, move among us. Breathe trust that relies on your presence when we see and when we don’t see. Breathe honesty that acknowledges our doubts and questions. Breathe hope and forgiveness for the sake of community with you and others.  Amen.

‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.’  Martin Luther King Jnr

‘Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.’

‘Your faith can move mountains and your doubt can create them.’

The Covenant Prayer

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
 to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
So be it.
And the covenant made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.                Amen

Almighty and loving God, may we live a holy life that mirrors your goodness and kindness. May we become compassionate as you are, full of mercy on each one of us.  May we become more generous and kind to those who are in most need and are helpless.  Amen.