Genuine spiritual transformation includes an openness of heart — a new center of being re-ordered by the Spirit. This “largeness of heart” goes beyond what’s merely expected of us to an attitude of giving without concern for reciprocity.

In this week’s Old Testament text, Jacob receives the news that his son, Joseph, is still alive. In the wake of his brothers’ attempts to sell him into slavery and death, Joseph doesn’t give his wicked siblings what they deserve, but what they need. Joseph doesn’t do this out of any kind of moral obligation — just as Jesus doesn’t speak of loving our enemies on mere principle. The engraced power of God makes this “impossible” love possible.

When this same unlimited, unmerited love infiltrates our hearts, it begins to issue forth in benevolent gratitude — it instills in us a joyful desire to give.

During these weeks, the leadership of Bethesda invites you into this spirit of generosity. For two Sundays, we’ve encouraged parishioners to pick up pledge cards for the annual effort of 2022. This Sunday, we ask you to return your pledge card by placing it in the giving basket on the way to Communion. If you are unable to attend this Sunday, we welcome you to drop off or mail your card, or give online.

I extend my heartfelt and sincere gratitude for your generosity. Every person and every pledge matter!

Bob Dannals
Interim Rector