The following blog post is my lead article for our May newsletter. In it I speak to the issue of stewardship and how it is a way of investing in God’s dream for all of creation.
You have probably heard of venture capital. It is money that is invested in someone else’s dream. In other words, a person has a dream for a start-up business or they have a great idea for a project but they need money to get started. Venture capitalists are the people with the money. They invest in the dreams of these individuals. To be sure, if the dream succeeds, these venture capitalists will reap a nice return on their investment. But the dream may have never gotten off the ground if it had not been for their investment of money.
There is another dream that is looking for venture capitalists and it’s called the dream of God. You see, God has a dream for all of creation…for the whole world. This dream is narrated in the Scriptures, it’s told to us by the prophets, it’s embodied in the life and ministry of Jesus, and it’s put into action by the early church. In fact, author Scot McKnight refers to God’s kingdom as “God’s Dream Society on earth.” When you think “kingdom of God” think “dream of God.” As you read the Scriptures, read them as a narrative of how God invites people to be part of His dream here on earth…of putting his dream into action. This dream of God includes reconciliation, peace, wholeness, the mending of creation, the healing of people’s brokenness, justice and healing for the oppressed, the transformation of all of creation and the changing of people’s lives into instruments of peace and goodness. This is God’s dream. Jesus is the dream awakener seeking to wake us up to this glorious vision of “what can be”.
When you and I give, not just our time, but also our money we are becoming Holy Venture Capitalists. We are investing in God’s dream for all of creation. It’s through our gifts and our giving that God’s dream is able to come to fruition. The reason it works that way is because God’s dream is often implemented through local congregations and churches…like Deep River Friends Meeting. God’s dream is implemented through the ministries of Deep River Friends and many other faithful congregations. When you and I give faithfully, we are investing in that dream. Our return may not be a financial one but we will certainly be blessed…possibly financially but always spiritually. We will be blessed because we know we have helped advanced God’s dream and we know that by letting go of money we are releasing it’s hold on us (and it can get a hold on us!)
Let me get down to the nitty gritty…when we pay our bills as a congregation we are advancing God’s dream. Paying a light bill or an energy bill or salaries may not seem so but all of these go towards helping our congregation advance and bring to fulfillment God’s dream in our world and community. It’s through the physical space of Deep River Friends that we are able to bring God’s spiritual presence and purpose to bear upon the lives we touch both inside and outside of Deep River Friends. For that reason, I want to say a huge “THANKS” for the generosity of everyone. But, like many other organizations today we feel the strains of a weak economy. For that reason, I ask for your continued investment in God’s dream and in the efforts of Deep River Friends Meeting to help fulfill that dream. Your continued financial faithfulness is very much appreciated and we seek to honor that by being prudent and discerning in our spending.
In the next few week our Finance Committee will be meeting to discern a budget for the upcoming 2012-2013 fiscal year. Please pray for them. They simply want to be faithful to God’s purposes and to be good stewards of all that God has given us. We will keep you, the meeting, informed very step of the way. And, please give us your input. You will have that opportunity.
Implementing God’s Dream With You,