Monday, February 11, 2013

Keeping What Matters

Then the king responded, ‘Give the first woman the living boy; do not kill him. She is his mother.” (1 Kings 3: 27, full story 1 Kings 3: 16-28)

It was close to Valentine’s Day and the confirmation class was tittering. To cut through the silliness I invited them to go around the circle and share a scripture about love to the best of their memory. I was impressed by how many “love passages” they knew, more than – love one another … neighbor … stranger.
Andy’s unique choice was the story usually called Solomon’s choice.
Two women with newborns shared lodging. One infant died in the night and both claimed the living child. They screamed at each other. Solomon suggested the baby boy be bisected and each woman be given half. One woman said, “Fine.” (Can you hear the teenaged boy say it?) The other said, “Give her the baby – don’t kill him.” Solomon gave this woman the child. Whatever the biological truth was – this was the mother!
“So how is this a love story,” I asked?
“Well, if you really love something or someone, you know that cutting it in half will kill it,” said Andy. A young woman (soon to get her driver’s license) picked up the thought. “Also, if you really love something, you’re willing to let it go.”
These wise confirmands suggest some Solomon-stewardship for our churches. In a difficult budget time – cut, cut, cut is frequent advice.  But there is much precious and vulnerable programming that won’t survive the knife. Keeping what matters in our faith communities alive often requires personally sacrificial gifts – gifts without strings, ownership or naming rights – gifts of love.

-- Maren C. Tirabassi is Pastor of Union Congregational UCC of Madbury, NH.

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer

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