Give to Our Work
A heartfelt sharing by Revd Canon Yee Ching Wah on legacy giving.
On one of my trips to Israel, I had the experience of running out of Israeli shekels and US dollars four days before the tour could reach the next major city where currency exchange facilities were available. I had more than enough Singapore dollars for the whole journey and the Singapore dollars I carried had value, but it was not usable until it was converted to the local currency.
No matter how much wealth we accumulate on earth, we all know that we cannot take it with us when we die, nor have any use for it in heaven. It is prudent for all of us to do financial planning to cater for any of life’s eventualities. But what do we do with the balance that we no longer need when we leave this world? Is there a way to convert our earthly wealth into treasures of heavenly value?
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is instructive for us. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21) We can transact and convert our earthly treasures from one medium to another, and sometimes run the risk of having everything we have slip through our fingers with depreciation and unanticipated losses.
Jesus contrasted this with treasures in heaven that nothing can destroy. What are treasures in heaven? I learned early in my faith journey that heavenly treasures are the things that remain eternal and unperishable – the Word of God and man’s eternal life in Christ.
One obvious way to convert our earthly wealth to heavenly treasures is to invest in the ministry of God’s Word and the proclamation of the Good News of salvation in Christ. It is wise for us to do this while we are still alive. It is just as wise for us to invest what we leave behind in ways that continue to bear heavenly treasures.
Jim Elliot, a young missionary martyred by the Ecuadorian Huaorani tribe he tried to reach, wrote this in his diary: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” How do we make the earthly possessions we cannot keep bear heavenly treasures we cannot lose? How do we invest beyond the grave?
While we are still alive, make a decision to leave a LEGACY for the ministry of the Gospel.
If you’d like to plough back the resources God has graciously given us responsibility over during our brief and temporal lifetime, before we return to the Father for eternity, you may leave a bequest to the Diocese of Singapore for the ongoing work of God. They can be directed to the Diocese of Singapore, or to a specific parish or deanery, for a specific purpose.
For more information, including some sample wordings for providing for a gift in your Will, please approach your Vicar or Priest. You may also email the Diocesan Office for further advice.