This has been a life-span week.
On Monday morning I was with the family of a recently departed Hanover Saint to plan the service to celebrate his life. In the first part of his 94 years he experienced the blessings of an amazing family, then proceeded to co-create one of his own, and through it all he offered his gifts to the world so that it would be a little bit better home for all of God’s children.
On Wednesday afternoon I gathered with another family in the maternity ward at Christiana Hospital. I experienced the awesome wonder of gently cradling God’s miraculous gift of new life. As I gazed into her beautiful blue eyes (and marveled with jealously at her already thick head of hair!) I was lost in speculative wonder about the possibilities for all she will experience, and the potential for all will accomplish in this world.
Throughout the week I’ve been performing mental gymnastics in preparing to speak about stewardship the next two Sundays (must be November!). It’s that time again to talk about the fact that a community of faith is only as vital as the energy and support offered by its members, and that, yes, energy and support are offered in so many ways, not the least of which is financial.
The events of the week served to remind me of the most important stewardship message of all: that the stewardship of finances is modeled on the stewardship of life.
In life we are granted, by the grace of God, amazing blessings and gifts. It is when we accept them in humility and with gratitude, and then offer them in communion with others that we achieve and receive the common good.
God intends no less than that all of God’s children experience the fullness of life. That is why we celebrate the fullness of a life lived well at its conclusion, and rejoice in the wonder of life’s fullness as it begins. In between, the fullness of life is determined by how well we balance what we receive with what we offer.