Monday, May 14, 2012

Looking Ahead to May 20, 2012 -- 7th Sunday of Easter

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Acts 4:32-5:11
  • Psalm 1(VU p.724)
  • Ecclesiastes 5:8-17

The Sermon title is Money, Money Money

Early Thoughts: "It's a rich man's world" so the song goes.  And in some ways it is hard to argue with it.  Money (actual bills or virtual cash) plays such a key role in our lives.  Some might even say it controls our lives in many ways.

What is your relationship with money?  How do you interact with it?  Do you even think of it as a relationship?

It is my belief that we all have a relationship with money.  That is to say that money is more than just another tool we use in our daily lives.  The key thing (to me anyway) is that if we recognize that we have a relationship with money then we can start to shape the relationship -- because that is how relationships work.

Often when we talk about money we use transactional language.  We talk about purchases and  balance sheets and bank statements and tax returns.  But we also need to talk about how money makes us feel (I have a very clear memory of two people I used to work with talking openly about indulging in "retail therapy").  WE need to use relational language as well as transactional language.

Before the Annual Congregational Meeting I named my belief that the most Spiritual document we would talk about at that meeting was the financial report and budget.  The same holds for our personal relationships with money. Where/how we spend it or don't spend it (or save it or don't save it) (or give it away) says more about our priorities than pretty much anything else in our lives.  And so talking about money is essential for our spiritual health.

This week's sermon is not about convincing people to give to any one specific cause (such as St. Paul's United).  This week I invite us all to enter into a time of looking at our relationship with money.  And ask how that relationship is shaping us -- and/or how we are shaping it.  As I say, it is not a financial question, it is a spiritual question.

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