Thursday, March 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for Day 38 of Lent 2016

Scripture Reading: Exodus 38 (NRSV)

Pope Francis is not ostentatious.  He drives a Ford
Focus around Vatican City.  I think this is one
of the reasons for his popularity. 
One of the things that bothered me about televangelists growing up was the lavish excess in personal spending.  It was clear that people of limited means sent in their money to support these ministries - my grandmother was one of them.  So to see the reckless lifestyles of those pastors at the top gave a bad name to Christian organizations world-wide.

For me the one that sticks in my head was the air conditioned dog house of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker of PTL fame.

And so we see the early audit of the Israelites in today's reading.  A careful accounting of God's money is important for the people to trust that what they are putting in the offering plate is going to reliable ministries.

I have grumbled about church audits before.  They are required by our denomination and sometimes they are a pain.  But at the same time, I realize they are helpful and necessary.  Checks and balances make sure that we are accounting for all the dollars being given to the church.

Accountability is one of the most helpful things about being connectional in a denomination.  The writers of Exodus were pretty explicit in how they would spend the offerings given for the Tabernacle.  How can we be accountable during Lent with our own resources?  The difficult question for many would be, am I willing to be held accountable for my spending?

Photo by CC-BY-Carlmages via, used under the Creative Commons license.  

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