NOT EQUAL GIFTS, BUT EQUAL SACRIFICE

By now you are becoming familiar with Trinity’s Two Steps Forward Capital Campaign. The two steps forward are, first,

Stepping Forward in Faith to fund the cost of dismissal and owning our property. The second is Stepping Up to Ministry
to improve our campus, including construction of a new building, in order to provide for more effective ministry at every
level. This has been a long-term vision of this congregation—and the time has finally come!
As you prayerfully consider your financial commitment toTwo Steps Forward, meditate on this principle: not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.  Anything of value requires sacrifice. Think of the sacrifices you’ve made over the years for your schooling, sports teams, family, and career. And think of sacrifices others have made for you.
Let’s be candid: some of us live on a very tight budget and don’t see much leeway to give to
additional projects like this campaign. In that circumstance, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by
the size of the monetary gifts some people are able to give. We feel like what we can manage
is a paltry amount in comparison. So why bother? Why? Because it is not the amount of the
gift, but the commitment the gift expresses that matters most to God. The classic example of
this is the story of the widow’s mite (the smallest coinage in the ancient world, less than one
penny to us). Luke 21:1-3 says, “Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into
the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell
you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.’” Sacrifice like this means stepping out
in faith. When we do, we bless God and we see God work.
A quote from C. S. Lewis has always challenged and guided Sarah and me in our giving
decisions: “Charity is an essential part of Christian morality… I do not believe one can settle
how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.
In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the
standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away
too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small.
There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure
excludes them.” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity).
Giving is a spiritual exercise in faith and an investment in God’s continuing work. It’s all about
making a difference for generations to come. How grateful we are for those who invested in
Trinity since 1876, and especially since 1959, when they purchased the property we now
occupy and constructed the buildings we enjoy. Now it’s our turn.
See you in church!