As we look ahead to our Congregational Annual Meeting (next Sunday, 2/10, at 10:15 a.m.) we each have an opportunity to think once more about our commitment to our community of faith and its many and varied ministries.
According to Webster, commitment means:
1. The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, pledge or undertaking.
“I cannot make such a commitment at the moment.”
2. An engagement or obligation that restrict freedom of action.
“My business commitments prevent me from booking a cruise this winter.”
In life, we’re called upon to make many commitments, some of which are pretty inconsequential, while others are anything but.
Have you heard the one about the chicken and the pig?
A chicken and a pig were walking down the road together. They spotted a billboard for a local diner, advertising its breakfast special: Ham and Eggs - $4.95. The chicken lamented, “That’s our whole contribution to society—breakfast food!” To which the pig replied, “For you, it may be a contribution. For me, it’s a total commitment!”
Another similar example of total commitment is something I learned a few years ago on my trip to Egypt. When we visited the “Valley of the Kings,” we saw the interiors of several tombs of ancient Egyptian kings—some dating back more than 5000 years. These tombs were complex and ornate—clearly no expense was spared in their construction. Not even human lives were spared. Because so much gold, silver and precious jewels were buried with the kings, the tombs were targets for thieves. So, to prevent looting, kings began to have their tombs built in a secret location. Often taking decades to complete, construction work typically started at the beginning of a king’s reign.
While it was surely an honor to take part in the building and decorating of a king’s tomb, the “ultimate” commitment was required by the workers. Since they were among the very few who knew the location of the tomb, the workers who built it were killed after its completion, lest they let slip the secret location. Talk about a total commitment to the job and to the king!
Don’t worry—no one at COR is expecting such a level of commitment as that of the pig, which became our breakfast bacon or ham. Nor are you expected to make a commitment of the kind made by the builders and craftsman who constructed the tombs of ancient kings in Egypt—knowing that when their work was completed, their lives would end.
Commitment, though, does contain an element of self-sacrifice. Whether it’s your valuable time, your valuable talents or your valuable financial resources—and hopefully, all three—being a disciple of Jesus who belongs to Church of the Resurrection calls you to give of yourself and your treasure. It’s committing to deepen your own discipleship and to support the ministries that serve COR, our communities, and beyond.
I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to those who make their commitment to being a disciple of Christ Jesus and supporting the ministries of COR in generous ways. And I’d like to give a word of encouragement to those who have been hesitant to commit to such support to take the leap. Generous giving is a “mark of discipleship,” which you’ll be learning more about in weeks to come.
Let’s make 2019 a year of making and honoring commitments to our personal discipleship and to the support of COR’s ministries—and may the years to come exemplify a deeper commitment to all to which we are called by Jesus.
In Christ’s service,