About two weeks after my graduation from seminary I received a telephone call from the Bishop. “How much do you owe in student loans?” he asked. Well, like many graduate students, my student loan debt was significant. I hesitated to tell him, but I did. “Great,” he said, “you’ll get a cheque next week to pay the loans off.” He hung up and I sat down to catch my breath.
When I went to pick up the cheque, I learned the whole story. The Diocese had received a significant bequest from the estate of a retired school teacher. She had never married but had been the support of many curates over the years. She was one of those parishioners who never forgot a birthday, who always gave of her time quietly and without fanfare and who was one of the ‘go-to’ people that many young clergy need to have in the early days of their ordained ministry. She always called the curates of her parish ‘her boys’ – these were the days before the ordination of women. So, all the money she had saved went into a fund to be used after her death to support new clergy. I was the first recipient and the fund still supports new clergy – including women after a letter from her to a close friends disclosed her deep joy over the ordination of women.
Treasure – financial resources – are something that we can use for so many purposes. Both Matthew (Matthew 6.21) and Luke (Luke 12.34) report Jesus saying that where our treasure is, there is our heart. I think that we all know that this is true.
God does expect us to use our treasure in ways that show where our hearts lie. Our use of financial resources is an expression of what we think is worth investing in so that the future we hope for will draw nigh. It’s not a matter of how much. It’s a matter of choosing to make a commitment.
This Advent, I invite you to consider the treasure God has given to you and how you can commit those financial resources to further God’s purposes in our life as a Parish, in the life of our community at large, in the life of our world.
But perhaps you have already committed your resources, but you’re wondering whether it’s time to consider a re-ordering of your priorities. I know that my life was changed by such a choice made by someone I never met. In Holy Trinity Cathedral’s network of service, worship, evangelism, education and pastoral care, there are many opportunities for your treasure to be used well. God calls us all to find ways for our passion to be put to use in God’s mission. Your treasure can do infinitely more than you can ask or imagine.
Vicar of Holy Trinity Cathedral