October’s lectionary contains one of the most well-known and misunderstood phrases in the Gospel – Jesus’ call to us to examine whose head is on the proverbial coin. We invited our friend, and TENS supporter, Bishop Diane M. Jardine Bruce to write a meditation on Matthew 22:15-22. Here’s what she had to say:
Once again in the gospel the Pharisees are trying to trip up Jesus. If Jesus supports the paying of the tax, his Jewish siblings who are rebelling against the Roman occupation will shun him. If Jesus says it’s unlawful to pay the tax, he’ll be in trouble with the Roman authorities. What does Jesus do? He asks them to look at the coin. It is a Roman coin. Pay the tax – meaning give the Emperor back his own coin! Then Jesus adds that wonderful line — give to God the things that are God’s.
What exactly IS God’s? Well, we are! Our Christian faith in God points us always to live a life of gratitude and generosity. God showed us how we are to live and how to give to God the things that are God’s. God gave us God’s son, God’s first fruit, and we are asked to do the same, remembering that everything we have, everything we do, everything we are is a gift from God — and it is a gift that is meant to be shared. When we share from our first fruits, as God shared God’s first fruit with us, we are modeling the same generosity God has shown us.
Remember, we have two sets of three legged-stools in our Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement: scripture, traditions, and reason; and time, talent and treasure. The first shapes our faith; the second is how we use the gifts we have been given to live out our faith.The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce is the Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Her ministry focuses heavily on stewardship, financial sustainability, and new community development.
As you move into your fall pledge campaigns, we at TENS wish you every blessing for abundance and faith-filled generosity. Let us know how we can help with resources, training, best practices, and tips!
Did you miss our webinars, Virtual Stewardship 101? Using the TENS 2020 Resources?or Creating Virtual Community for Stewardship? Learn about online fundraising, community building, and tools for successful campaigns. View the webinars here, and download the accompanying PowerPoints in English and Spanish.
Sign up for the Generosity 365 Academy! October 10, 2020 1PM EDT on Zoom! Registration only $29.99
Join stewardship experts from the Ecumenical Stewardship Center as we engage People-Focused Stewardship.
This 4.5 hour workshop featuresCatherine Malotky, Grant and Project Manager for the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, on “Donor-Focused Stewardship” Gretchen Colon, Senior Consultant at Cramer & Associates in Columbus, Ohio, on “Cheerful & Creative Sparks – Engaging New Stewards” Tim Schuster, Creator of the course Six Weeks on Money, presents “Three New Approaches to Cultivating Generous Givers” Tom Berlin, Lead Pastor of the Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, on “Voices of Stewardship”