For this week’s stewardship reflection, The Rev. Sarah Fisher writes about the Gift of Relationship. Reflecting on Jesus standing before Pilate in John's Gospel, she wonders what we might learn from Jesus' clear understanding of who he is. She suggests that money is one of the clearest indicators of our self-understanding and our relationship to God.
Jesus stands before Pilate. We know this story. We hear it on Good Friday, we remember it every week in the Nicene Creed. And our ears hear it anew today, on the cusp of Advent, as we are emerging and rebuilding from an unimaginable time of pandemic. Once again, we proclaim Christ the King of all Creation.
As Jesus and Pilate talk, we learn something powerful about who Jesus is and how he serves God and humanity. We are reminded of who he is called to be and what he has come here to do. And it invites us to wonder who we are and who we are called to be, in this moment, in this season of our lives, and in this moment of our Church. What strikes me how Jesus acts in the time of trial. He acts with integrity. He makes a choice to remain wholly who he is, firmly rooted in love of God and clear about the work he has come to do. In that moment Jesus stays true to who he is. His trust in God remains steadfast too.
We’re invited to do the same. We know this in a distinct way in stewardship season. Our money is one of the most powerful and honest symbols of what we offer to God and to the church. It is one of the truest ways we can understand what we value and what we believe. Faithful, selfless, and generous giving invites us into a deeper relationship with God and our money. And it requires us to do the hard, but essential work of looking deep within to discover what we truly value, what we consider most precious.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: As we emerge from the pandemic, many of us are rebuilding—lives, jobs, churches. How, in this post-pandemic time, do you understand Christ the King? Has your understanding of God’s faithfulness shifted or changed? What do you notice in your own life about your relationship to God and your wallet? What story does it tell you?
The Rev. Sarah Fisher is rector of St. Catherine’s Church in Marietta, Georgia, and is a former member of the Board of Directors for TENS.