Here’s a parable from Rabbi Amichai Lau-Levi:
“A large, multi-cabined ship set sail across the ocean. A passenger whose cabin was on the lowest level of the ship decides to dig a hole in the floor of his cabin. Sure enough, the ship begins to sink. When the other passengers realize what’s happening, they rush to the man’s cabin. ‘What are you doing?!’ they yell. The man looks up from the hole and says, ‘It’s my cabin. I paid for it. I can do whatever I want with it.” And the ship goes down.
There is no “my cabin”
In Luke 14, Jesus tells his disciples that if they are not able to pick up a cross and follow him, then they may not enter into the Kingdom of God.
When it comes to the life of faith and understanding stewardship as a way of life, most of us want to have our cake and eat it, too. We prefer a Christianity that doesn’t involve costly choices. We want Jesus the healer, Jesus the friend, Jesus the Savior—but not so much the Jesus that sometimes barges into our cabin and asks, “What Are You Doing??”
Jesus is pretty direct. If I want to be a follower I must first relinquish once and for all the fantasy that, “It’s my cabin—I paid for it—I can do anything I want with it.”
There IS no “my cabin.” I am on God’s ship and everything I do, every choice I make affects the entire vessel. There is no “us” or “them” on this ship—only “we”.
Jesus knows how hard this will be for us, so he advises any would-be follower to stop first and count the cost. He says a wise general would never declare war unless he thought his troops were equipped and trained for battle. Should the life of faith be any different?
All Saint’s Sunday
This Sunday is “All Saint’s Sunday” where we remember and honor those of our congregation—our family—who have died this past year. It is a powerful service. It will also be our final “Commitment Sunday” for our Stewardship Campaign. We’ve been talking about 1st Peter and how everything we’ve been given should be used in service to others. That is Stewardship as the way of life we’ve been talking about.
What better day to Commit our gifts than on the day we remember our saints and the sacrifices they made for us today? They are the ones who built the buildings in which we worship and study and serve others. They didn’t say, “This is mine—I paid for it—I can do whatever I want with it.”
Will we? Please be sure to come to worship prepared to make your financial commitment to the church for 2020. We are all crew on this ship. Grab a paddle.