Raise them up in the way…

This is not a blog about Pastor Ben Krey’s generosity (though it is one of the marks of his character). It’s a blog about our parents.

Yesterday, I drove to Durham to celebrate the rite of installation for the newly called pastor at Church of the Abiding Savior, Lutheran. Rev. Terrance Jacob is an answer to prayer, and I delighted in bearing witness to his installation. The music and vibration of praise among us gave me life! I could sing praise with that congregation all day, every day and never tire.

We sang, confessed our sin, received God’s forgiveness, sang, heard the Word, sang, received Bishop Tim Smith’s gospel proclamation, sang, prayed, sang the Creed, shared God’s peace among us, sang, and then it was time for offering.

I lamented to my neighbor, Pastor Ben, that I had neglected to put any cash in my robe pocket before I processed into worship. Honestly, I didn’t even think I had cash in my purse – even if I had remembered about offering.

Pastor Ben took his wallet out in order to slip a bill out and be ready for the offering plate to come by. Knowing I was without, he said, “This is what my parents did for me,” as he handed me a $20 bill. I asked, “Are you really giving this to me, so I may give an offering?” He nodded. I called to mind the moments in the pew with my mother (dad was always up front) when she would give my brothers and me our dimes or quarters or one-dollar bills. Pastor Ben’s gift to me was a considerable mark of inflation!

I am grateful to him for his generosity to me and to the church, but mostly I give thanks for our parents, who filed us into pews in our Sunday best, helped us balance hymnals on the backs of the pews in front of us, flipped pages when we couldn’t find our way around the bulletin, Bible, and hymnal, traced their fingers along the lines of the hymn before we learned to keep our eyes moving across, then down, across, then down. We are indebted to our parents for quarters we slipped into small offering envelopes and for modeling their own generosity by writing out checks. We watched them participate in the financial stewardship part of congregational life, and we practiced alongside them because they shared with us their resources, so we could learn to do the same.

I drove to Durham to celebrate Pastor Terrance Jacob, and boy howdy did we celebrate! As a tender bonus, Pastor Ben gave me both an offering and the precious gift of remembering my parents’ faithfulness.

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