There are a thousand ways to give back to God.  You work hard for your money and why not get a little joy by giving to the less fortunate? But what if we gave a little more blindly than simply picking your favorite low-overhead, high-impact charity? 

From whatever direction you apply the equation, if you’re giving back something you believe you owe, because you have been lucky or blessed, who’s to care whether the impetus is you or God?

But God does not expect a payback for the blessings we enjoy … something more fundamental is involved, like belonging to people we encounter simply by virtue of the fact that we sit near or next to them Sunday mornings at Christ Church, hoping that something extraordinary will happen. Perhaps the most amazing thing that could happen is to realize that we belong to each other … we love and adore each other, we are irritated and frustrated by each other, we are not always sure we can count on each other, though at times we feel incredibly supported by simply showing up for each other. More than anything else, if pushed to the wall, we realize that we are in this holy project together and therefore, in an almost irrational way, we belong to each other, share the same fears with each other, have the same hopes together, and would very much like to make a difference in mending a deeply troubled world together. The reward is knowing you can make a difference for someone suffering or who never got a fair start in life.

This is why we give with pledge cards … because by giving it joins us together, making miracles happen—in shelters, food banks, orphanages, clinics, schools and peacekeeping efforts in the hostile global community.  Not everything we do as a church represents each of our passions, but in giving it is reassuring to know we are supportive of our people who have found their ministry here and are making a difference. We give because it creates momentum for ministry and blesses others often without our knowing. It’s not about a quid pro quo with God, but to honor God, who incidentally resides and is most accessible in the person sitting next to you and in the people God calls our neighbor. You don’t have to agree with them, you don’t have to find them interesting or fascinating, you don’t even have to enjoy their company. But there they are – people of God, all searching like you to be found, cherished, equipped with resources, guided and sent to make a difference. We can search for God in the heavens; we can search for God in sacred and supernal experiences. We can find God in places of beauty and peace and all of those pursuits are worthwhile. But I must add that you will encounter God, quite possibly, live and in people, in the person seated next to you … that close. That’s how God said he has created us.

So an investment with a pledge in this family of giving may be a good way, among others, to give because this is how Jesus teaches us to work and love as community … with the holy sense that we belong to each other. Disagreeable, I know; difficult and impossible, yes; yet always forgivable and bonded by a belonging that overlooks all of those bothersome tendencies. Finally let us agree: together it is quite possible to do extraordinary things.