Sunday morning, I heard a knock on the office door and was surprised to find someone making a delivery to the church rather than asking for assistance. The unexpected visitor was Terry Gloor, a local attorney, who managed the estate of Mrs. Marie Goodman. Terry had stopped in to deliver the final distribution in settling Mrs.Goodman’s estate. Marie left a significant legacy to Southside Baptist Church which provided the funds to put a new roof on all the flat-roofed portion of the building with some funds left over to create a designated fund in her memory. This is the major portion of the building as it houses the non-profits and three other congregations. Were it not for this bequest, the deferred maintenance so desperately needed would exhaust other funds used to carry on with regular programming and ministry. It does not come as a surprise that Marie was so generous in her bequest since she was the same with her financial resources while living. Marie was one of many strong and dedicated female members of Southside Baptist who gave expression to their faith by using their time, talents and resources in remarkable ways. These women gave so much of themselves to Christian education, missions and worship in their lifetimes. It seems appropriate that the last disbursement of Marie’s estate came at a time of the year when we consider our personal stewardship.
The gospel series of readings on recent Sundays point us to consider how we receive and use all of that with which we are blessed everyday. This Sunday, our text is from Matthew 25 where we are confronted with not only what we do with our resources but also the motive behind their uses as well. It is a call reminding all of us to truly care for and love others, ministering to them to alleviate pain, suffering, despair and lost hope in the name of Jesus. When we do, it is as though we are ministering directly to the one who loves us and gave himself that we may be forgiven and experience the peace that only Jesus can provide.