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Stewardship Meditation 9/26/2021

The Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity

There is one body and one Spirit — just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call — one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:4–6).

In various ways over time, people have been searching for techniques to bring people together across political, racial, economic, and social divides. However, it seems the harder we try, the further away we move. That is often because we look for unity in the temporal things of this world, rather than the eternal things of Christ. It is only in Christ where we can truly be one. This is why Christ is at the center of all the LWML does. From devotions and Bible studies, to mites and prayers for our missionaries, the LWML seeks to proclaim our one Lord to all people, so together, we may be one in Him. Through your support of Gifts of Love, you can help. Whatever divisions there may be among people, we may be brought together under our Lord, pressing on by His grace toward the one hope that we have: life with Him in His kingdom forever.

Stewardship Meditation 9/19/2021

The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her (Luke 7:13a).

This verse from Luke brings great comfort and joy which we have as the children of God. Our Lord is the Lord of Life, and therefore not even death is beyond His ability to keep us with Him eternally. The LWML is dedicated to bringing the message of our Lord of Life to the world and to connect people to the hope which is in Christ Jesus. Through supporting missionaries and assisting in works of mercy, the LWML desires to see people who are daily confronted by death; demonstrate the compassion of Christ in word and deed; and, by the Spirit, deliver hope into their lives. Your support of Gifts of Love can help the LWML carry on this work for years to come. Prayerfully reflect on how you might consider this ministry in your long-term plans, that Christ’s victory over death and the grave may be proclaimed to the ends of the earth!

Stewardship Meditation 9/12/2021

The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” It is meant to be an encouragement that we do not need to have all the answers and every detail of our life figured out. Instead, we focus on the big picture and then take the twists and turns in the road as they come. Such is the nature of our life in the kingdom of God. It is very easy to become so overwhelmed by the “small stuff” of life that we forget we are already inheritors of a glorious kingdom. Thus, Jesus encourages us to keep the big picture in mind, to “seek first the kingdom,” and everything else will take care of itself as the Lord provides for us. Considering our future, planning ahead, and supporting Gifts of Love do not indicate anxiety about things. They are faithful responses to God’s graciousness. It is a way to support the LWML in keeping the kingdom of God front and center in its work of supporting mission and ministry around the world. Through the Word proclaimed, others will see the kingdom first and then know by faith that everything else will also be taken care of by our loving Father in heaven.

Stewardship Meditation 9/5/2021

The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity

 and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks (Luke 17:16a).

The story of the healing of the ten lepers, and the return of the Samaritan to give thanks to Jesus, is more than just about giving thanks for the healing God provides. What the Samaritan shows us is that he understands how everything is dependent upon God. The Lord gives, the Lord provides, the Lord sustains, the Lord heals, and the Lord gives life. Thus, it is fitting for the Samaritan, and for us, to acknowledge the source of all blessings in the person and work of Jesus. Participating in planning through our Gifts of Love counselors is one way you can return to the Lord in thanksgiving, knowing all you have is from Him. In supporting this ministry, you are supporting mission work here and abroad so many more may know the healing which comes from Jesus and give thanks to the Lord for all His love and favor toward us.

Stewardship Meditation 8/29/2021

The Feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne (Revelation 6:9).

Observing a martyrs’ day is usually not seen as one of joy and happiness. We have been blessed in this country to be able to worship as we choose, and to confess what we believe, even publicly. Martyrs’ days, however, remind us not only of the seriousness of the confession we make, but also of how that confession is sometimes received, just as was the case for John the Baptist: it cost him his head! While we might never come close to suffering the fate of John, that does not mean that our witness is any less important or true. We confess Christ, crucified and risen for our salvation and for the life of the world. There are times when that witness might be met with indifference, or even hostility. However, there is joy when the Spirit uses that witness to stir hearts and bring people to faith. In this way, John the Baptist was far more blessed by those who took heed to his message than by the few who sought to take his life. Through Gifts of Love, you also have an opportunity to bear witness to Christ, even after you have been called home alongside the saints and martyrs of Christ. Your gift can support faithful proclamation of the Gospel for generations to come, so that even in the face of hostility, the witness of the Church may forever confess Jesus as Lord.

Stewardship Meditation 8/22/2021

The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue (Mark 7:33).

So much has been missed over the past year when it comes to human interaction. How many handshakes and hugs have been missed? How many grandparent laps have gone un-sat-upon? A friendly wave is no comparison to a comforting embrace. Jesus knows this, too. Sometimes when He heals, He touches people, such as He does with the man today. Where others might have been hands off, Jesus was most certainly hands on, offering a healing touch — a touch of grace. This is the very thing that has happened to you in your Baptism. Jesus has touched you with healing forgiveness and loving grace, making you a child of the kingdom. And now, Jesus has enabled you to be His hands and feet in the world, to offer His touch of grace to those you encounter. Your prayerful planning and contribution to Gifts of Love can be one of those touch-points. By your faithful generosity, the LWML can continue its interaction with the world, seeking to bring the healing, gracious touch of Jesus to others. Will you consider partnering with us in this endeavor? One of our counselors would be happy to visit with you about ways that you can support this ministry, to reach out and touch generations to come with Jesus’ life.

Stewardship Meditation 8/15/2021

The Feast of St. Mary, Mother of our Lord

And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation (Luke 1:50).

When it comes to finding examples in the faith, there is hardly a better person than Jesus’ mother, Mary. Called into what must have seemed like an impossible situation, Mary trusted in the Lord to see her through everything and humbly submitted to His plan for her, and for the world. Mary also knew that everything she had was from the Lord, and that through the child she bore, His mercy would be given to generation after generation. As it was for Mary, the Lord provides us with all that we need in this life. We are not worthy of it, and yet the Lord’s mercy is given to us just the same. One of the ways we can put our faith and trust in the Lord into action is by considering how we might share of our blessings with future generations. Gifts of Love is one way to do that. Through this ministry, the LWML’s work of helping to spread the Gospel can go on from generation to generation. Through the missionaries we support, the mercy of God is brought to bear on millions of souls. They, too, have a chance to see the greatness of God who not only calls His children into incredible lives of faith and hope, but blesses them with every blessing along the way until they reach the kingdom eternally.

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