Craig’s Corner 2019 April

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

You are rich.

So am I.  At least compared to most of the world.  It might not seem like it at times when you compare yourself to peers, people in the neighborhood, or others around you, but comparatively speaking you are.  We live in a country where the toilet water we flush with is cleaner than the drinking water in many other nations.  That’s one of those facts that just humbles me every time.  We FLUSH with water people are literally dying to have.  That’s rich.

Yet despite our wealth, or maybe because of it, we have a skewed view of giving.  Too often we give to get instead of give to live.  Jesus taught his disciples (and us) that giving from the heart honors God.  That giving freely – not just of our money but of our time and talents – not only makes God smile but brings us closer to the life he wants for all of us to lead.  Imagine a world like the one the early church lived in Acts 2:

44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. – Acts 2:44-47

They gave freely to anyone in need.  Luke didn’t say, “And they made sure the money was spent wisely.”  Instead, these early disciples simply gave of themselves and trusted in the body of Christ to use the money to do what they thought best.  Even the idea of the tithe (giving 10% of your earnings) wasn’t about the tithe as much as it was about making God a priority.  

10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. – Malachi 3:10

God wasn’t talking about giving you more money (or in this case food).  He was talking about blessing your life.  When you surrender to Christ and finally look at the world through HIS eyes, you’ll see the world very differently and in a way that will make you smile and be at peace.  

I struggle with this, too.  There’s a part of me that likes recognition for a job well done (just ask Cassie if this is true of me and I’m sure she’ll agree).  There’s a part of me that wants to be sure what I’m investing in is being used the way I want it to.  But this is the side of me that is furthest from God.  And I’m working on it.  Let’s work on it together.

I hope during this Easter season as we think about our commitment to Christ, we also think about our attitudes toward life.  Are they Christ like or are we struggling?  Do we seek our own fame or God’s glory?  And how can we put more trust in God?  Join us for Easter worship and let us bring all of this to the cross and lay it down before Christ’s feet.  I look forward to a spring renewal of our souls with you this Easter!

Peace in Christ,


The Bishop is Coming!  The Bishop is Coming!

If we had a town crier as talented as Paul Revere, I’m sure this is what he (or she) would say.  On April 7, Bishop Minerva Carcano, the Bishop for our California-Nevada Annual Conference, will be with us in worship to share God’s Word as we celebrate our 90th year of ministry in service to Christ!  Please reserve this date on your calendar and bring a dish to share as we show our hospitality the BMUC way.  

If you have questions about the recent Special General Conference, please hold them at bay until later that afternoon when the Bishop will be hosting a special gathering to address what happened in St. Louis and what it means for our local churches.  This post-GC gathering will be Epworth UMC from 2:30pm to 5pm.  Please come and support our United Methodist Church as we seek to find a way forward together.