Where’s My Gift?
THIRTEEN-TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED HOURS ON MONDAY, THE 28TH DAY OF DECEMBER IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, 2015
So, Christmas Day has come and gone and today’s the “official” bank holiday in The UK. As the Christmas period is really about giving, I thought I’d get straight to this point:
Did you buy your Pastor/Vicar/Priest a Christmas gift this year?
If not, why not?
An immediate response might be why should I? but don’t worry, I’ll come to that shortly. Here’s how I look at it:
You probably don’t go to church to be part of a social club (if you do, you should really read this) so I would imagine you go there to be benefit from the preaching/teaching of The Word of God in the pursuit of its application in your life.
Assuming you go to one service a week for a year, that about 52 Sundays. Let’s say those sermons last one hour. What about preparation time for each of those messages? Oh, let’s not forget about counseling – imagine how much time people take to resolve their various issues? Pastoral care (dedications, weddings, funerals, etc)?
Let’s do the math:
With this in mind, let’s assume that we have:
Hours of messages preached = 52
+ prep time (5 hours per message?) = 260
+ counselling time (1hr per week?) = 52
+ prayers (we can agree on 1hr daily right?) = 365
Let’s keep with those assumptions and tally them up. That’s a total of 729 hours annually (or a calendar month). To put it into context, if you work part-time hours, in the UK, you are probably going to clock 768 hours in a year.
With all this amount of effort put into place for your spiritual growth (and bear in mind that this is a very conservative estimate), you would think that they deserve more than a thank you and a pat on the back – right?
What about my offering and tithe?
Why should you buy that gift?
You many not have read this in your bible but there’s a scripture that caught my attention. It’s in one of Paul’s letters to the Corinthian church (1Cor. 9:11):
“If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?” (ESV)
This chapter is actually a really good read. To sum it up, Paul was saying to the church in Corinth that surely they (he and Barnabas) have proven themselves, through the work in that church, to be an apostle – if not anywhere else.
Why should he not then be able to benefit from the work he has put in. He even brings in Old Testament scriptures to back his point which focuses on verse 11 shared above.
If your priest/vicar/pastor has indeed sown spiritual things in your life – they’ve preached to you, taught you, prayed with you, counselled you, dedicated your child(ren), wedded you, and much more – is it too much for them to reap material things from you?
If anybody is deserving of a gift in this festive period, it’s surely them.
It’s not too late to pop and get a gift to show your gratitude. If you want to, make a New Year’s gift but just in case your priest/vicar/pastor isn’t going to tell you this, you’ve heard it here.
Hmmm, I think I’ll skip that thanks
Perhaps you haven’t benefited from your church this year, or you haven’t grown spiritually at all. In that case, I’d recommend a new church (probably good timing with the new year) – no point in attending church for the sake of it. Christianity is results based, let nobody fool you.
As for gift choice, try and get something that your pastor will like and will probably make them remember that you remembered them – nobody really likes generic gifts, no, not even priests/vicars/pastors.
Remember, God wants you to win.