Bob Dylan penned these words in 1979, and unfortunately they never become obsolete. I am reminded of them once again, as I prepare my sermon for this Sunday on a very difficult text: Luke 16:1-13. There, Jesus says some hard words to all of us who have been entrusted with resources of time, talent, and treasure:
Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much…No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
Note what Jesus doesn’t say as well as what he does say. He doesn’t say that it is immoral to have resources. What he does say is that it matters to God what we do with those resources, and what hold we allow them to have on our lives. Are we faithful with them, or are we enslaved by them? Do we serve the Lord with all our hearts and souls, and all that we have? Or do we let the culture around us — or, indeed, the temptations of the devil — whisper in our ears the lie that that our worth is defined by our bank account? Whom do we serve?
We have so much to celebrate at Trinity Church given our accomplishments and growth as a community over the past year. In worship and formation, in loving service to our neighbors near and far, and in our common life, we have achieved so much. We have welcomed many newcomers and built our programming to serve them. We have continued to build on the firm foundation of our life together in Jesus Christ that is not only part of our great history, but also part of our present and our future.
Soon you will be receiving a pledge card asking you to prayerfully consider how you might contribute your time, talent, and treasure to the life and work of Christ’s Church at Trinity. As I’ve mentioned before, your support of the Church isn’t in the same category as other contributions to causes or institutions you support. Your pledge to the Church is a matter of spiritual discipline, and a mark of your religious commitment to make Jesus Christ the Lord of every aspect of your life — including your financial life.
This is our time to witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ in Princeton.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
The Rev. Canon Dr. Kara N. Slade
Associate Rector for Operations and Discipleship