Every day we are faced with so many choices, especially USAmericans. McDonalds or Subway, WalMart or Target, Conoco or Shell. Just driving down my street trying to pick a place to grab lunch can be overwhelming. I remember my friend Betsy, who had just come back as a mission worker to the Sudan, telling the story of being overwhelmed in the shampoo aisle. Where she was in Sudan there was one shampoo.
Despite these somewhat innocuous, often irrelevant daily choices in our lives, there are serious choices as well. Where do I go to college? Do I take that new job or not? Should my spouse and I have another child? Those simple choices can have large, outreaching effects.
Choices, choices, choices. So is the theme of our scriptures today. Hannah makes a choice to stay behind and wean the young boy Samuel, and then decides to offer him to temple worship. In Acts, a choice must be made to fill the 12th Apostle position – a choice between Barsabbas or Matthias. In Luke, Jesus has a careful choice to make, as the Pharisees try to entrap him with questions of money – Caesar’s or God’s?
Life is all about choices. Each day we are faced with a multitude of them. How are we choosing to use our time, our money, our talents? How are we offering ourselves to the Lord? What is left to be done as we build up the kingdom? Who will do the heavy lifting? Who will represent us best, and be our leaders?
As Jesus reminds us with the debate over money – “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” That in itself is a trick back on the Pharisees, for what is God’s? Everything.
That’s one heck of a stewardship campaign! Give everything back to God!
So often I find questions of tithing and self-sacrifice answered with greed. Giving time or money to God is often answered with the same rationale as alumni requests from our favorite college – “I have already given them enough!”
Well, have we given God enough? Have we done all that is required?
It is my prayer that each of us reflect on the choices we have before us – rejoicing in the one who made us, and offering as much praise as is necessary.