The Winning Numbers

If you are someone who notices changes in the liturgical lineup on Sunday mornings, then you may have observed that in our desire to retain the ritualized act of offering as a part of worship, we have introduced the phrase “Invitation to Discipleship.”

We aren’t quite ready to pass offering plates down the pews yet, but are we rightly in no hurry to give up the moment of pointing to our offerings as acts of Christian formation. We are inviting the congregation to imagine giving as a form of discipleship, as a way of following Jesus Christ. Yet in these continued days of cultural scarcity, it’s easy to fall prey to believing we don’t have enough. So we hold onto things tighter and hope for better days. 

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard someone say, “If I won the lottery…” Of course, we can all imagine what we would do if fortune smiled on us one day at the Wawa and we purchased the winning numbers of the Mega Millions or the Powerball.

What’s interesting is how many folks mention their charitable giving in their imaginary lottery winnings distribution. “I would give to Habitat for Humanity.” “I would donate to the Humane Society.” “I would give to my church.” “I would give to the Critter Connection” (a guinea pig rescue organization).

But the truth is, haven’t those of us with food on our tables, homes in which to rest at the day’s end, top-tier hospitals, access to great schools and parks and public transportation… haven’t we already won the lottery? Sure, hard work helps us actualize certain things in life, but if we are honest about it, most of life is just pure luck. And because I know how lucky I am, what can I do to share my good fortune?

If we have already won the lottery, how does our Christian discipleship look? If we’ve already won, what would it look like to share it now?

Whether you are writing a check to support Peace and Global Witness efforts in the PC(USA), throwing loose change in a Hunger envelope, or donating online to our BMPC stewardship efforts, we can’t thank you enough for sharing your lottery winnings with us. Such an act of discipleship stretches those winnings out in ways we can’t even yet imagine.