There was once a small rural congregation that was shrinking...dying in fact. Their shrinking at first had nothing to do with a shortage of money...not at all; in fact, they had six figures in the bank. Saved for a rainy day. Their shrinking had to do with the fact that there were no new families moving in, and the population was all moving into the city. No one was left but the faithful few who were slowly but surely passing away.
During the aftermath of the tsunami that struck much of the Asian world on December 26, 2004, and killed a quarter million people, this congregation was offered an opportunity to join with the churches in the community in which they lived, in gathering money to send to those whose lives and villages had been devastated. They were too old to really participate in the fund-raising activities that had been planned, and they categorically refused to offer any money. Our money, they insisted, had to be saved for “we are going to need it someday....There’s only so much you know. When it’s gone, it’s gone, and we’ll have nothing.”
Within a few brief years, those short sighted people lost everything. Most lost their lives, as they passed away in old age. They lost their church, because there was no one left to attend, and no pastor to serve. They lost nearly a million dollars that they had saved, because it was seized by the state, when no coherent will or estate was produced for the disposition of the funds.
Join us this week as we explore Jesus’ rejection by his hometown folk who felt that he was getting a bit “too big for his britches,” and who therefore derided and mocked him. Their absence of faith prevented their community from living out the glorious mission to which God calls us all. Indeed, unless we trust that we are a part of an economy that has limitless resources, (God’s economy), we lose.