Next week I will take four impressive seminarians to Charlotte to have lunch with a generous and faithful Moravian who created a permanent fund. While the original plan called for his fund to be funded from his estate, over a year ago he said, “I don’t want to die to help the Church and the ministries that are important to me. I want to do something while I am alive so I can watch and enjoy the benefits of my plan. I am 85 years old and time is not on my side, but that doesn't mean I can’t have fun now!”
So the seminarians will meet with this donor, whose gift allows them to complete their education debt-free (two attend Moravian and two attend Wake Forest), so when they go off to serve a church, they won’t be burdened with worrying about paying off their loans.
Next week I will have more to say about our lunch, the seminarians, and the donor, but this week I am going to talk briefly about “having fun now.”
Giving today is changing in a rather important way and the Church needs to come to terms with this reality. This change has nothing to do with people being less charitable. What it does have to with is people – the givers – want to be more engaged in and part of the fun. I am not talking about financially benefiting from their giving. Rather, it’s like watching my grandchild take her first steps or saying her first words and knowing that in her is a part of me.
Put another way – I played a role in giving life to one of the greatest gifts – My granddaughter is making life fun because I am watching and participating in her life.
Giving and supporting the Church should be fun and fulfilling. We are followers of Christ and while living a according to the Gospels is a big task and one we often fail, giving of ourselves to help others and serve the Lord should be fun because we are sharing God’s grace – and nothing is more pure than that.