Here at First Covenant Church, we’re trying to support not only the regular, ongoing ministries of the church (Sunday Schools, prayer meetings, the Worship Service, Youth Group, etc.), but also the ancillary ministries that help people who fit into various niches that can sometimes feel sidelined, underappreciated, or even misunderstood.
For instance, Gweneth Schwab oversaw this weekend’s “Growing Older Well” retreat, helping people over 50 be both thoughtful and Biblical about how to age gracefully and healthily. Multiple FCCers said that the retreat went well, and that they were blessed by taking the time to interact about aging on levels that they really hadn’t before.
In addition, during the Worship Service this week, we provided a “Minute for Missions” for Robin Leasure, who will be leading a Bible Study for post-abortion women through the Empower Life Center (formerly the Women’s Pregnancy Center) here in Peoria. If you -- or anyone whom you know and care about -- may have dealt with the effects of abortion in your past, then I encourage you to connect with Robin and work through the healing materials that she’s providing.
We have so many resources and opportunities available to us that can draw us closer to God and to one another. Let’s be encouraging one another to take advantage of those resources wherever possible.
Actually, we kinda talked about that this week as we continued looking at the parabolic teachings of Jesus in Luke 15-16. We’ve just gotten finished looking at the “trilogy” of parables in Luke 15, and we tend to stop there because we’re messed up by the chapter break. But Dr. Luke tells us in chapter 16 that Jesus kept talking and sharing another parable about lost things -- this time to His disciples.
Jesus told us about a dishonest manager and his rather foolish master, messing with our heads by suggesting that the dishonest manager was the hero whom we should emulate and that the foolish master was kind of like God (remember, parables tended to come at things from sideways, to force us to really chew on their messages). Basically, the master was foolish in that he commended his manager for misusing the funds entrusted to him... but that’s not entirely accurate.
See, what the master (and then, later, Jesus) actually commends is that the manager finally made use of the wealth that he’d been wasting up until that point -- and that he used temporary resources to secure long-term results. Jesus encourages all of us to think of what tangible, worldly resources that we’ve been given to steward (whether they be time, money, skills, homes, cars, church buildings, etc.), and how we can consciously use those to reach people for God’s eternal Kingdom.
So what blessings has God given you today? How can you actively use them to honor God? Don’t bury them or hoard them -- invest them in eternity and see what happens...