What is a prophet? Can it be said that it is God who calls a person to the stage of history? And how may they who speak, and they who listen, discern the impulse to speak as not mere psychological stimulation, or egotism, but a movement worthy of the name of God?
Through forty years, I have meditated on Isak Dinesen’s three forms of true happiness. Much more than sports analogies await here, as you already see. Whenever we face a challenge—some kind of opponent—our imagination instantly delivers an assessment of our own resources. Can I meet it? Often, we fear not.
Many men I have met inside prison had more inner freedom than citizens outside who do not see the iron bars they live within. On those visits at Attica, I bore witness to more focused desire to grow than I have ever seen outside—not in churches, or seminars, or therapy groups.
Our theme today is stewardship. We’ll ask what it is, where a spirit of generosity comes from, how we can grow in it, why it matters, and what’s at stake for a church of generous givers–or one that’s not.
At the opening of a new year comes a sense for a fresh start. Our resolution feels strong, the goals worthwhile. And yet, there is a shadow over our smile, for we remember past resolutions, dusty boxes in the basement. Will this January be any different?