From October 21st to November 11th, we will go through a series that reminds us why it is that we give not only our money, but also our time, our gifts, our talents, our witness, and our service to a community. It’s not simply to prop up a building or an institutional way of being, but to remember we are the living stones that build up God’s body and community on earth. We’ve just spent six weeks studying the transitional shifts the church needs to make in the 21st century through the book Weird Church, by Paul Nixon, and we’re going to apply those principles to our giving campaign this week. We’ll be reminded why we give: to resist corporate understandings of the church, to be present to those around us, to care for our gathered community and to participate in God’s healing of the world. We will pull from old and new testament passages, as well as the gospel to remind us that God has always called us to these ways of being and called us to invest all of ourselves (including our money) in building the world as God would have it. Throughout our giving will be asking that important question: what are we building here, and for whom?
1 Peter 2:4-10
This passage tells us that people are the house of God, living stones God uses to build God’s community. As the old hymn says, “I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together, all who follow Jesus, all around the world, yes we’re the church together” This reminds us that we give in order to be able to care for the body of Christ gathered together here.
In this passage we see Jesus turning over the tables of the money-changers in the temple. Christ calls us to function outside of the marketplace, in a place marked not by what we have, but how we love. This reminds us that we give to the church as an act of resistance to the ways corporations and the marketplace want to shape our understanding of our neighbors and ourselves.
2 Samuel 2:1-7
In the Scripture passage we see God tell David not to build a house for the ark of the covenant. God privileges flexibility and nimbleness over pomp and circumstance and the ark is able to travel with the people easily in the tent. This reminds us that we give, not to prop up a building, but so that we can have the ability and resources to be present with all.
This passage reminds us of the current work and future promise: God is making all things new. God is healing the earth. This reminds us that we give in order to participate in God’s work of healing the world.