Imagine if someone gave you something, but said one of the conditions of the gift was that he or she could come back at any time and use it in any wish he or she wished. Perhaps that person gave you a car, but said that he could show up at any time or any place and demand to use it.
Would you call that a gift? Or is it more like a loan?
Perhaps someone gave a piano to the church like that. It’s a beautiful grand piano like this one, but one Sunday morning we come in, ready for the service to begin and the pianist comes up and says, “Pastor, we have a problem. The piano is missing.” What?! Sure enough the piano is gone. There’s a big empty place with only a note to explain what happened. “Sorry for the inconvenience, but I dropped by last night to pick up the piano. I’ll return it when I’m through. Thanks.”
As odd as that is, that is the way some people give gifts to God. This morning, as we look at the opening of the letter of Paul to the Ephesians, let us consider what kind of givers and what kind of gifts are we?