November 10 – Not your gift? Get over it!

Tomorrow is work day at LPC, and I will show up as usual.

Church work days are a time for all the people of the church to pitch in on clean-up, fix-up, spruce-up projects around the building and grounds. Work days come around twice a year at LPC, and in the fall there’s a lot of leaf raking and winterizing to be done in addition to the walls and woodwork that always need to be scrubbed or painted.

I am passably good at raking leaves, but they tend to steer me clear of wheel barrows, hedge clippers, power tools, hammers, paint brushes, screw drivers and anything else requires advanced operator skill. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. A handyman I am not.

Most of the people at church work days are really nice, and you should come if you have a couple of hours on Saturday morning. Many hands make light work and all that.

Showing up for church work days is not in the pastor’s job description, but I go anyway. So long as they keep me away from something dangerous like a paint brush, my little bit helps. And time I put in at the handle end of a rake is time someone else can give to one of the high skill jobs.

That’s how it is in the church. We pitch in. We do what we can do even if we aren’t first in class. Just as you need to keep me away from paint brushes and power tools, others of us need to stay away from microphones and hospital rooms – but not from worship or from caregiving, just as I don’t stay away from workdays even though I can’t operate a screw driver correctly.

That’s how it is in the church.

You may not have a gift for evangelism, but you can still talk about the life of faith.

You may not have a gift for teaching, but you can still tell what you learned in Bible study.

You may not have a gift for serving, but you can still take down and set up Fellowship Hall tables and chairs.

You may not be a gifted listener, but you can still be quiet long enough to hear your friend’s joy or sorrow.

You may have gifts to speak in tongues of men and of angels, but if don’t have love, you are a noisy gong or clanging cymbal.

That’s how it is in the church.

Sunday, the day after workday, is Pledge Sunday at LPC. In our way of doing things, we all decide how much financial support we hope to offer the mission and ministry of the church in the coming year and then we promise to do our best to make good on that decision. You may not feel as if you have a gift for giving, but you can still be a part of providing financial support for what God is going to do in and through us next year.

There’s nothing in the Bible to suggest I must be a talented carpenter or gifted mechanic to add my little bit to a successful workday. The New Testament sets neither a minimum nor a maximum to the amount of money we drop in the offering plate for the work of the kingdom. But in both cases – workdays and offering plates – cheerful hearts and generous giving are set as joyful standards we are privileged to meet.

It’s late notice, but even if you have only an hour to give tomorrow morning, why not grab your rake and join us. If you’re really good, they may give you the hedge clippers. I think I can guarantee and good time.

It’s not too late to begin to grow or to continue to cultivate a cheerful heart that gives generously to the work of the church. Ten per cent or more of your income may not be possible this year, but if you start toward a goal, you’ll find it doesn’t take all that long to meet or exceed it. I think I can guarantee deep satisfaction and surprising joy as you learn to give.

See you Sunday – and maybe Saturday morning at workday