11112018 25 Aft Pent 24 Aft Trinity Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

“We give God our Time!”

11112018 25 Aft Pent 24 Aft Trinity Sunday Emmanuel Lutheran Export PA

October 28, 2018

“We give God our Time!”

Sermon Audio

When growing up and visiting my Uncle in Northwest PA, he’d always want to go down to the store in downtown Kane to get his lottery ticket.  Uncle Ron in his own way trusting God, would always insure he would always take the time to go down and ‘buy’ a chance to ‘win’ the lottery. His logic was, you have to meet God halfway in order to possibly win.  As true as that is, every time he would buy a ticket, he would faithfully watch the drawing in order to see if he became a millionaire. Well, he never did match all the numbers, but it wasn’t for lack of giving his time by meeting God halfway.

How often do we also give time to hobbies or things we enjoy, like watching the Steelers, Penguins or Pirates on TV or in person?  Or giving our time for people, events or ministries for God’s glory? All of us give our time, whether in the home, outside the home or even for God here in the church.

Recently our Stewardship Committee read a resource that spoke clearly of four aspects of ‘being good stewards’.  There were four words that encapsulated or summarized what ‘being a good’ steward meant. Please understand these are from God, they are our Time, Talents, Treasure and Testimony.  How each impacts and relates to us is very personal and for some a very touchy subject. We have the opportunity to honor everyone's differing beliefs, but also understand these gifts from God of Time, Talents, Treasure and Testimony are a blessing for us and we are enabled to be good stewards of these gifts for God’s Glory.  Today God demonstrates for us in Holy Scriptures how two of His children showed how to be good stewards in order that we can discern how “We give God our Time”

Have you ever wondered, why God invented time?  Have you ever wondered if in heaven there will be the clock that ‘ticks’ every second away?  In my office I have a clock that was here when I arrived, I listen to it ‘tick’ every second of the day.  It makes me clearly realize every second is precious, but also an opportunity for that gift of time to be shared, where, we can in our world steward God’s gift of time.  What we do is “We give God our Time!”

In Holy Scripture, there are many stories of how people would spend their time with God in the synagogue.  The most appropriate was Simeon and Anna. They epitomized our understanding that “We give God our Time”.  Simeon is best known for a hymn we still use today in our Communion liturgy known as the Nunc Dimittis.  It reads, “Lord, let your servant depart in peace according to your Word. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.”  For in demonstrating the clear gift of giving God his time, Simeon witnessed Jesus presentation in the temple.

Anna another New Testament personality also as a widow of 84 years, spent her time in the temple worshiping God with no desire to get something in return, but only to give something to us today.  Anna gave her time and witnessed the fulfillment of what the prophets told would come to pass at some point in human history. It was clear, both Simeon and Anna are perfect role models for we who gather here today, in order for us to understand as good stewards, “We give God our Time”!

But let me stop for a second and clearly say, the expectation is not to give God our time exclusively for or only in the church with expectation for reward.  “We give God our Time” not because we have to in order to gain eternal life, “We give God our Time” because of what He has already given unto each and every one of us.  God has given us His Son on the Cross of Calvary. We cannot earn it, we can only act in faith and model being faithful stewards of our time for others in order to feel the joy of God’s gift of salvation that is given for us and for all of mankind, just as Anna and Simeon did.

To bring this home for us today.  God gives us a divine opportunity for a selfless act of service here at Emmanuel.  For us like Anna and Simeon to be here and serve God as we are able in whatever the task, like many of our congregation do without expectation of repayment, but out of our love for what God has already accomplished for us.  This past Sunday evening, members of our congregation came to Emmanuel outside of Sunday Worship and shared the precious commodity given from God of their time. It was an opportunity for members of all ages of our congregation to prepare for the people of Westmoreland County who receive Meals on Wheels an emergency bag with food if the electricity goes off or if they cannot or do not receive the daily meals they desperately need.  What occurred was that the youth and ‘just older youth’ reached out and gave of the most precious commodity, it wasn’t money easily tracked by the counters, but it was a clear demonstration of the love of God for others. It was the clear demonstration that as members of the Body of Christ, “We give God our Time!”

The opportunity we have is to individually reflect upon the precious gift from God of our time.  Ask ourselves, how we use this gift and ask God to reveal to us through our prayers, how we might use our time for His Glory.  For Anna and Simeon Holy Scripture reveals for us a beautiful demonstration of how they used the gift of time. In light of this, the opportunity arises for each and every one of us to truthfully ask ourselves since we are promised salvation already by God’s free forgiveness, grace and mercy, how do we who gather here today at Emmanuel, how do we here in our community, our church and for God’s Glory, how will we today, tomorrow and every day of our lives because of the free gift of salvation answer the simplest question, how will “We give God our Time” for God’s Glory?  AMEN.