Luke 16:1-13 Common English Bible (CEB)
16 Jesus also said to the disciples, “A certain rich man heard that his household manager was wasting his estate. 2 He called the manager in and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give me a report of your administration because you can no longer serve as my manager.’
3 “The household manager said to himself, What will I do now that my master is firing me as his manager? I’m not strong enough to dig and too proud to beg. 4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I am removed from my management position, people will welcome me into their houses.
5 “One by one, the manager sent for each person who owed his master money. He said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil.’ The manager said to him, ‘Take your contract, sit down quickly, and write four hundred fifty gallons.’ 7 Then the manager said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘One thousand bushels of wheat.’ He said, ‘Take your contract and write eight hundred.’
8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted cleverly. People who belong to this world are more clever in dealing with their peers than are people who belong to the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to make friends for yourselves so that when it’s gone, you will be welcomed into the eternal homes.
10 “Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and the one who is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much. 11 If you haven’t been faithful with worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 If you haven’t been faithful with someone else’s property, who will give you your own? 13 No household servant can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
Sometimes big choices define big pieces of life. Where to go to school. Where to live. Whom to have as friends. When we make the Good Confession, we make the ultimate life choice: You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Everything we do should reflect Christ – the values and practices of Christ who gave himself for the kingdom of God.
Every choice we make should be for that kingdom. When it comes to material resources, including money, Christ shows the way by choosing the way of the Kingdom, which is the way of giving, sharing holding up one another.
At the same time, the meaning of our lives is also measured in the day by day, and moment by moment choices we make. If we confess Jesus, but make choices that reflect other values and practices, then we begin to become like the lesser choices we make. If we use our money in self-serving ways, then we begin to think that the purpose of our lives is to serve ourselves. Pretty soon we have idols on our desks that look ever so much like … us.
Putting money into the offering plate or giving online may not seem like much. I hear Christians bash other Christians two put a little money in the plate on Sunday, and then go do what they want, without reference to Jesus. Maybe they have a point.
When you give something every week, you put into practice in this little way, the thing that you confessed in a big way. The point is not the amount. The point is that you represent here what you intend for the rest of your life. You want this little choice to become the pattern by which you make all other choices.
So the invitation to offering is much more than an invitation to support God’s purposes through this congregation. It is an invitation to help reinforce, or even help create, who you are.