Sunday, October 21, 2007
This Sunday we did not hear a sermon, but instead heard 3 testimonials about what it means to be a member of the Church of Our Saviour, and we watched a rather slick video using a cast of 15 or so with a few choice sound bites to try to tickle our wallets out of $925,000 (note the gradual drop in the advertised goal).
One of our fearless reporters caught the Capital Campaign committee using a coined marketing slogan, "Not equal giving, but equal sacrifice." This is not a new slogan. One web search for this phrase returned some 3.5 million hits. Our reporter questioned how to make an equal sacrifice if different people value things differently. I always think of giving blood as an equal sacrifice because a true sacrifice is made from what is needed to live. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, said “If you give what you don’t need, it isn’t giving.”
What guidance can we find from scripture? This was not touched upon at the service this Sunday. (Why bother with scripture?) I found this nice sermon on the web. John R.W. Stott in 1999 as rector emeritus of All Souls Church, Langham Place, London expounded on 2 Corinthians 8-9, highlighting 10 important principles of giving (for the full text click on the title): (1) Christian giving is an expression of the grace of God, (2) Christian giving can be a gift of the Spirit, (3) Christian giving is inspired by the cross of Christ, (4) Christian giving is proportionate giving, (5) Christian giving contributes to equality, (6) Christian giving must be carefully supervised, (7) Christian giving can be stimulated by a little friendly competition, (8) Christian giving resembles a harvest, (9) Christian giving has symbolic significance and (10) Christian giving promotes thanksgiving to God.
All this talk of sacrifice leaves me with images of Mayan priests holding the still beating hearts of their human sacrifices, and images of blood running down the steps of the pyramid.