For me, November and Thanksgiving are inseparable. I look forward to gathering with family for the big meal. During November, I think often about that for which I am thankful. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all we have been given.
I have come to realize that the Thanksgiving gathering and meal doesn’t just happen. Thanksgiving takes planning, doesn’t it? For Thanksgiving to happen we need to coordinate schedules, get the shopping done, do prep for the meal, time the meal, and more. To really enjoy the celebration and have everything go just right takes planning.
Giving thanks to God for all God has first given us is the same way. One of the primary ways we express our thanks to God is by giving back to God from our finances. For almost all of us, Thanksgiving revolves around the big meal – and it is never leftovers. Special care and planning goes into making the Thanksgiving meal. If we fail to plan our giving of thanks then God will get our leftovers. And few of us have enough money left over at the end of the month to adequately say “Thank you” to God. To really say “Thank you” to God requires planning our financial giving into our monthly budget ahead of time.
One of the ways my family and I say “Thank You” to God is by tithing. In the Old Testament a “tithe” was “one tenth.” God’s people brought one tenth of their income to the temple. Their income may have been livestock or grain or fruit. We plan to give this tithe to God in our budget. Whenever we talk about spending money at our house our thanksgiving to God is a fixed expense planned into our budget. Not only is it satisfying to say thank you, but we find great satisfaction in seeing our dollars used for those things we believe are most important in this world. Tithing also reminds us every day that God is first and foremost in our lives.
Our Fall Stewardship Emphasis, Making $en$e of Our Money, is an invitation for you to plan your giving of thanks. Our Sunday message will focus on this theme for four weeks from October 29 through November 19. On Sundays, November 5 and 12, our members and regular attenders will receive a packet of information. Inside you will find an Estimate of Giving Card for 2018. An Estimate of Giving Card is just that, an estimate of how much you will give back to God financially through Zion in 2018. I invite you to complete this card and return it on Sunday, November 19. Not only does it help you with your financial planning, it helps congregational leaders to plan the church’s finances as well. So, we ask that you begin to prayerfully consider and plan to give thanks to God for 2018.