Give & Forget
Hallowe'en is over, and the spooky decorations have been packed away. Store shelves have already been displaying Christmas items for several weeks. Remembrance Day is yet to be observed. It seems to be possible to miss the annual National Day of Remembrance altogether, and move straight to Christmas.
The other day, my Face Book feed carried a story of telling the truth about Santa! (This comes to us in the month of November—an ideal time to talk about Stewardship, in the Church.)
The story was of a conversation between a father and son. The boy, 12 years or so, believes he is old enough to know if there really is a Santa. The father agrees; but first, must be assured that the son indeed wants to know the truth about Santa. Being so assured, he reminds his son, “Once you know the truth about something, there is no going back to the world of imagination.”
The father begins, “Yes, there is a Santa, but he is not an old man in a red suit. That’s just what we tell children, as we explain it in their terms.” The father continues, “Santa is not a person, but an idea.”
In conversation, they talked about all those gifts the boy has received over the years. The son hears about how his parents had given them, and how they had enjoyed watching him open them, enjoying his expressions of joy.
These were gifts for which the parents never expected a ‘thank you.’
Then the father talked about people who assist others in danger. Many times, those people never know who helped them.
The father went on to say, “When we do that, we are Santa.” He then reminded his son, ‘From now on, he had to be Santa in his life.’
Our commitment to Stewardship in the life of our Christian church is about giving without expectation of thanks, awards, or accolades.
Stewardship is about giving without the expectation of large returns.
When I recently listed the instances of giving by St. John’s to the wider community, I was actually sharing how ‘we are living out our commitment to the good news of Jesus Christ.’ As the story says, it is about giving for the sake of giving.
The phrase "don't let your left hand know what your right is doing" originates in the Bible, Matthew 6.3 (KJV). It means ‘that when donating to the needy for charity, do not let it be known to the world.’
It alludes to the wisdom of not giving oneself credit for providing charity to others – just give and forget about it.