Son Times - Fall 2014
God has truly blessed Zion and its people over the years. Since 1837 we have faithfully proclaimed Gods word and sustained and helped build Lutheran schools and eventually churches throughout the western suburbs of Chicago. During this time Zion has had times of plenty and times of need. Right now it seems we’re somewhere in between.
Once I realized it was time for the next newsletter I had no idea what to write about. I started digging in old files and found four articles I had written about stewardship and giving. The first was from 2000 just after I arrived here (a time of need). The second from 2002 as we were finishing up our first “Restoration Project” the third from 2008 after we had been struck by lighting and had sustained some extensive damage from the remnant of hurricane Ike (hard to believe that was four years ago), and the fourth was from 2010 (a time of plenty) with an article entitled “The Summer Slump” talking about how giving tends to drop dramatically during the summer. Time and again God carried us through.
In almost every one of those article I mentioned that I did not like to talk about stewardship and giving. Circumstances at the time seemed to dictate the need for it. Except in 2010 which was really a preemptive attempt to avoid any financial woes and too remind everyone what good stewardship really was.
The Psalmist proclaims “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” We need to remember a steward is not a slave who must do the master’s bidding; instead a steward has the privilege and responsibility to manage all that our Heavenly Father entrusts to each of us “everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” The New Testament uses expressions such as cheerful giver, first fruits giving and proportionate giving to describe our life of stewardship. Some of us faithfully fit this category. Many of us do not.
All things, including money, belong to God and the real question is how much of what belongs to Him are we going to keep for ourselves and how much are we going to use to fulfill His purposes? King David said it very well in 1 Chronicles 29:14: "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand."
As we move forward with our “Restoration 2012” projects as we deal with maintaining and aging facility I am asking each of you to consider what a church of cheerful, first fruits givers would be like. No need for appeal letters, special meetings for this or that repair, no need to do anything but discuss what we could do to help others through our time, talent and treasures beyond these walls, because the money was already cheerfully there.
As we continuing celebrating Gods gracious blessing to us over the past 175 years, please do keep Zion and its school Concord in your prayers. Prayerfully consider becoming a truly cheerful, first fruits giver so that our next restoration plan can be directed outside these walls. We are truly blessed as good things are happening at Zion and its school Zion-Concord. A bunch of cheerful givers will help ensure it until our Lord returns.
Be of good cheer, Pastor Heuser