Although I’m not personally a “cradle Episcopalian” I’m always impressed at a baptismal or confirmation service with the covenant promises that are rehearsed by the participants and the congregation as well. These promises that we can so easily recite are really quite daunting and powerful in their reach if we take them seriously.
The first promise we make in the Covenant Affirmation is “Will you continue in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?” It seems to me that inherent in this question is a willingness on our part to not just be observers or pew sitters at church but to actively partner with the ministry and mission of our parish and to support it generously and faithfully as well. This promise is a call for each of us to prayerfully consider our part in enabling God’s work through our parish to continue and flourish.
I fully realize that when we consider our pledge for the coming year with all of its uncertainties for our lives that we can easily start worrying about our own needs and be tempted to hold back. But through the years I’ve learned that God is no man’s debtor and the promise to us as believers when we share sacrificially is as true today as it was when the Apostle Paul first wrote to the church in Philippi in response to their sacrificial support for his ministry, “My God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19).
When King David purchased land to build an altar for sacrifice in Jerusalem he said, “I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (1 Chronicles 21: 24). Later this very spot became the site for the temple that Solomon would build to God’s glory. David was committed to giving his best and not just left overs. So our covenantal promise should be no less. As we make our pledges this Sunday as part of our stewardship at Trinity Church may it be our best as well. May we each pledge “I will with God’s help.”