May the Lord be with you. It’s a wonderful greeting, based on the promise that our Lord will never leave us. The Lord is our Shepherd, preparing a feast before us in the presence of our enemies. At the moment, one of those enemies appears to be Hope Lutheran Church’s purse, depending on your perspective. And yet, the banquet continues, the blessings of God lavished upon us faster than we can count.
During a Temple Talk at a recent worship service, our treasurer communicated to us that we are running a deficit, and that at the present rate we will run out of reserves by the end of the year. That means that we would be living from week to week, “a very scary thought!” Sobering, I thought, to think of how much of the world lives day to day, and how many die from lack of food.
While our income is lower than anticipated, our spending is significantly lower than projected as well. We began the year with a $66,000 deficit budget. We have faced unanticipated spending, such as the replacement of the air conditioner for the Christian Education wing. In the coming weeks we will be providing financial reports, including reports in the worship bulletin on trends of attendance, income and expenses.
But we are People of Hope. Our name is not Despair Lutheran Church. There is a good reason for this: we are children of God, not children of the devil. We don’t live from a model of scarcity but a model of abundance while being faithful stewards (mayordomos or managers) of God’s hacienda (God’s farm, landed property or estate—in other words, all of creation). Stewardship is the management of God’s creation. What an amazing privilege and delight! We get to take care of God’s earth. And the whole time we do so, we belong to God.
God is taking care of us.
May the grace and peace of God be with you.
Pastor Daniel Swanson