In Touch March 19, 2010
Posted on March 19, 2010 by under Touché,

Giving in Our Dying

 “I believe in the communion of saints”

 This week I talked to a couple who were making plans for when they die.  It was a hope-filled conversation.  The wife’s request was that she would give $50,000 from her will, and any other money added by memorial gifts, into a fund that would pay for young people to go on mission trips. She has seen the difference mission trips make in the life of young people, so when she is gone from this earth she wants to make sure she is still giving for this important cause.

 Have you thought about how you will give when you die?  In the Apostles’ Creed we say we “believe in the communion of the saints.”  This phrase connects what happens in heaven with what happens on earth.  Planning for how our earthly resources can be used for the kingdom of heaven is part of what it means to be a part of the body of Christ.  Weekly we are encouraged to give to the cause of Christ, but for many of us we have given little thought to how our resources are used for the kingdom after we die.

 Everybody is encouraged to make a will so that the government will not decide where your money goes when you die.  I encourage you to make a will that remembers the communion of the saints.  This church will live on after you take your last breath and some of the best investment you can make with your will is for the work of the kingdom when you are gone.  So I would encourage you to think about this.  We have ways to give in endowment, or to specific causes, or simply to the workings of the church as consistory and leadership see fit.  We talk about giving a tithe in our living, I would encourage at least the same model in our dying.

 Warren Buffet stunned the world when he set up his will to give most of his money away.  I don’t know how his kids felt, but his principles were inspiring.  The talk in my office this week was not about the same amounts as Warren Buffet, but it was more inspiring for the work of the kingdom.  I hope you will consider talking to your lawyer about how you can give with forever in mind.

 Yours from this side of eternity,