For those of you who have been at Grace for a while, you know that our recent tradition is to have our Stewardship emphasis begin in Lent, As we were considering what sort of message to use this year, we decided to mix it up a little bit. We realize that people are individuals. We know that different people learn from and react to different messages. With that in mind, rather than having one theme, we’re going to have several, and we hope you will find one of them particularly helpful as you consider your Stewardship response to God’s Great Grace.
And so, today, we begin with a message we call “Let Me Put it This Way.”
When Pastor Heidorn has collected the offering each week, he speaks these words that are so familiar to us now: “We give Thee but Thine own, whate’er the gift might be. All we have is Thine alone, a trust, O Lord, from Thee.” I really like those words. They’re very poetic, memorable and meaningful.
Sometimes, words we hear over and over get lost, though, as they become routine. So, to help us focus on their meanings, I offer a few new ways to say much the same thing.
- Hey, God, I know you gave this to me, but I’m sure you can use it better than I can. Don’t worry, I have enough for me.
- Wow, thanks for giving me all this, God! Here! I brought you a gift to show you my thanks. Use it however you think best.
- God, you promised me my daily bread, and you gave me that and more! Let me give some back so other people can learn to be as thankful as I am.
- Father, I know you gave me this, but some of my brothers could really use it. Would you mind getting it to them?
- God, you trusted me to hold onto this for a while. With what you gave me, I was able to make even more, and I want you to have some of it.
I’m sure there are many more ways we could rephrase that meaningful prayer. I thought about trying to do it in different dialects. You know, Surfer Dude (Whoa! Awesome!), Five-year-old (Thanks, Daddy), or Rocky Balboa (Yo, Adrian, um, I mean, Holy Father) but I’m not a Surfer Dude, or a Five-year-old, or Rocky, and I don’t think many of you are, so I hope you get the point and I hope one of those helps you focus on the meaning of “We Give Thee but Thine Own…”
We’ve all been given so much, but it is, after all, God’s. He owns it all. As good stewards of His things, it’s important to realize it, and give Him thanks, however we say it.