Things don’t always go the way we plan! They also don’t always go the way we expect them to. And, maybe that’s pretty much the same thing, but sometimes they’re not quite the same.
So what does that have to do with Stewardship or Thanksgiving – the two major celebrations during November?
Sometimes I think the way my mind works is a little different from how other people’s minds work. I actually think there’s quite a connection from the first of my statements to Thanksgiving and Stewardship!
When we ask for pledges in the fall, we’re asking for what you think you may be able to give, not a full accounting of what you will give. Circumstances change, income shifts, availability of cash is modified: because things don’t always go the way we plan. And we understand that. What we’re asking for in your sending or bringing your pledges is simply what you think you may be able to give.
When we come to giving thanks, we thank God for all things, not just the good stuff. Loved ones die or move away, things change in our church, our circumstances are altered by catastrophes or just shifting of our situations: because things don’t always go the way we plan.
I’ve been asked over the years what is my favorite verse of scripture. The Bible study group would let you know that I have lots of favorite passages. But if I had to come down to one passage it would be Romans 8:28-39. It is a passage that gives me hope no matter what may happen in my life.
And which verse is the one that I would consistently point to? That might change on a day to day basis—it’s a good passage (I challenge you to read the whole thing). But right now I’d lean towards the first verse as the most appropriate:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
And that gives me hope because things don’t always go the way I plan or we plan, but we can know that we are held in God’s plan. And that’s good news!