- If you’d like to fill out an electronic pledge card for your planned giving in 2020, you can do so here.
- If you’d like to make an electronic donation to St. Matthew’s Church, you can do so here.
- Steps to set up your online giving for 2020 can be found here.
Our participation in the mission of the church is not just for our own benefit; it is our part of the mission and work of the church. Think of the church as a canoe and of each member as an oarsman. When all row in harmony, the mission of the church moves forward efficiently and effectively. When some choose not to row, others have to row harder to make up for those who do not row.
What the church really needs is for all of its members to be committed to our mission; to be faithful in the regular habits of following Christ, worshiping God and working, praying and giving for the spread of his kingdom.
How Much Should I Give?
Jacob made the following vow to God in the Old Testament: “Of all that thou givest me I will surely give the tenth to thee” (Genesis 28:20-22). Many Christians similarly tithe a tenth of everything they earn.
Genesis tells us “In the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering.” (Genesis 4:3-5).
Abel offered the first and best of his flock. He took what God had given him and he offered it back to God in thanksgiving. God accepted Abel and his offering. Cain brought “an offering.” Cain knew he was supposed to give, but did not want to; so he brought something he thought he could spare. This attitude is a consequence of the fall. Fallen man says of the creation, “This is mine.” He clings tightly to the creation as though he were the owner and not a steward; as though it was a possession and not a gift. As Hebrews says, “By faith, Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he received approval as righteous, God bearing witness by accepting his gifts” (11:2).
We tithe when we take the income God gives to us and give the first tenth as an offering to God. The tithe should be the first check we write. This is how we imitate Abel and offer God our first and or best.
Some will say, “I can’t afford to tithe.” Of course, this is literally false; the first and best are always there to give. What this really means is, “I am afraid that if I tithe I won’t have enough left over for the rest of my needs.” This is precisely what makes the tithe an expression of faith. We give God the first and best trusting that God will make the rest sufficient to meet our needs. As Hebrews says, “Without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6).
Text excerpted from Fr. Stephen Scarlett’s Sermon on Tithing.