“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossian 3:17).

Like many of you, I am putting together all the necessary documents to prepare for tax season. W-2’s, 1099’s, Mortgage Interest Statements, and Letters of Contribution. I am grateful that so many of our parishes and ministries take the time to show their gratitude by saying thank you. As I thumbed through these thank you notes and letters this morning, I thought of the many lives being touched by Jesus through our parishes and ministries. I am so very grateful for the work we do together out of our love for God and our love for God’s world.

I am grateful for our home parish of St. Mark’s in Bowling Green, and the people they touch in the Bowling Green area and beyond. I am grateful for Redeemer and Salem in Toledo, and the great love and hope that is shared in the neighborhood and beyond. I think of Trinity Lutheran Seminary and the leaders they are forming for God’s work in the world. I think of Lutheran World Hunger and the sustenance provided to hungry people across the globe. I think of Cru, and their mission to share the love of Jesus with college students. And I think of Kiva, an awesome organization that provides microloans to people throughout the world. If you are not familiar with Kiva, click here to learn more.

As you prepare your taxes, I would encourage you to slowly read through those Letters of Contribution, and just imagine how many folks are being reached and how many lives are being renewed through the promise of the Gospel and through your giving. This is the work we do together out of our love for God and our love for God’s world.