A sermon given during the 10:30am Choral Eucharist, by The Rt Rev’d Chris McLeod, on the 6th of November 2022
Text: Ephesians 1: 11 – 23
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you … (Ephesians 1: 15)
It is right and proper on All Saints Day to remember and give thanks for all who serve our Lord in so many and varied ways. It is not just about remembering the great saints of the past but honouring all of us who try to serve God with our talents, time, and money. As we finish up our sermon series on Giving, I give thanks to all of you for the service you give to the Cathedral and wider community. I encourage you to pray about your level of financial giving to the ministry of God through the Cathedral and respond as you feel God inspires you. May we all grow in generosity and service.
I am always confronted by the generosity and graciousness of God in Jesus. We have a God who gives. Jesus in this morning’s Gospel reading encourages us to give: our shirt to the one who asks for our coat; our money to the one who begs (Luke 6: 29 – 30).
Over the last few weeks, we have been focussing on Giving. Financial giving, yes, I make no apologies for that.
Giving as a response to God’s love – John 3: 16
‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son …’. John 3: 16 is a verse from Scripture that most of us know by heart. Two things are linked: Love and Giving. God gave out of love. It was an act of ultimate generosity
How do we give lovingly
- Service – Many serve the Cathedral in a rich variety of ways. Some serve by helping with the Liturgy, others by staffing the Cathedral Shop; others by being welcomers and tour guides … the list goes on. This does not go unnoticed. We serve Jesus by offering ourselves in the variety of ministries here at the Cathedral.
- Time – All these ministries mentioned above take time. Time is one of our most important commodities. It is very precious. Sacrificing time to serve God through his church is a very important offering. We should never take that lightly.
- Talents – We all have talents that we offer God within the church and to the wider community. Some offer their rich talents, like the choir, for example, in the Cathedral. Many offer their talents through the work that they do. If you are a doctor, you offer that service to God. If you are a bus driver, you serve God and his people in that way. God provides you with the talents and you use them to serve God for the benefit of the world we live in – God’s world.
- Money – And finally, we serve God with our money. Everything we have is a gift from God. Even the money we call our own. We give some of that money to support our church, so God’s mission and ministry can be carried on. The Cathedral does need money to operate. Costs increase, so our Giving should increase as well. I’m not here to make any of us feel guilty about of our level of Giving, but to encourage all of us, including me, to pray and think about our level of Giving
Next week you will find in your service sheet instructions on how to ‘pledge’. I do hope that we will all pray over the level of our financial giving.