“But, Emmaline, Sharing is Caring!!!” This has become a favorite phrase of Charlie over these last few months. He hears it at school and he reminds every member of his family daily of this golden rule. In the midst of our current reality, I like to agree with him but add in the caveat, “Sharing is Caring, unless it is COVID!”
And so what does it mean to share? What does it mean to be generous of heart?
On Sunday, Pastor David shared the third of the Stewardship Sermons this time on Gifts. He suggested that how we approach money is a litmus test for our discipleship. I agree, Jesus was clear about this over and over again in the Gospels and as we heard Sunday, Jesus talked more about money than any other topic in His teachings. While generosity is seen most poignantly in money, generosity is also seen in the sharing of our time and talent as well.
How do you share your time? How do you share your talents? In this stage of my life, time is money. Time is an actual commodity for me in a season where there is not enough time in my day to do all that I need to do. But part of the way I care for God’s people and my own little tribe is giving them my time and attention. For instance, I give of my time and attention by really listening when they have a story to share, a prayer that needs to be lifted up, a question they need answered. I choose patience in the busyness by sharing my focus and attention even if I feel there is something else I should be spending my time on. I share my authentic self in my relationships even if it means I am vulnerable and left exposed. I share my heart in situations that need softening because sometimes you are the one that can bring a new perspective to a tense situation.
I say that I do these things, but not all the time and certainly not perfectly. Sharing is Caring when I am grounded in who I am in Christ and when I am present to the Spirit of God in my midst.
Which invites me to ask an important question. If Sharing is Caring, who is most cared for when we are generous?
Pastor David shared on Sunday that we are on the right path with how we approach money when it makes us more aware, not less aware of Christ’s presence with us. This generosity begets a sense of maturity when we begin to realize that we are dependent on Christ. Because as I live out my day and try to share my attention, my talents, as well as my gifts, I am cared for and filled back up as I am poured out. As I pour myself out in the care and love of others, I meet Jesus over and over again. The care is reciprocal because this is what we were created to do. We were created to give and receive. We were created to share and be generous. When we do, we are more in touch with the belovedness we were created to live out. As we are generous with all that God has created us to be, we see more of Christ in the other person, in the situation, in the conflict, in the relationship around us. When we get outside ourselves by sharing more than our gifts, but our time and talent as well, our soul is cared for. Our relationship within God’s Kingdom widens and we begin to see ourselves as an integral part of the transformation that God is up to here on earth. We share our gifts because our whole selves need one another to be cared for and nourished.
And so, I leave you with this question.
Aside from the sharing of your financial gifts in this season of stewardship, what can you do to share more of something else? Is it your patience, or attention, or time or friendship with someone else. And how might God begin to care for your soul in the process?
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