Take Care - Reflections 11-12-2020

Tests for Sunday November 15, 2020
Stewardship Sunday at Gloria Dei

Deuteronomy 8:7-18 
Psalm 103:1-5, 19-22
1 Peter 4:7-11
Luke 6:37-38

This coming Sunday is one of those days when pastors move away from the lessons that were appointed for that Sunday because they are preaching on something else. This Sunday the something else is called stewardship. People are invited to think about their intentions for giving both money and time for the mission and ministry of the church, including care for the vulnerable and alienated.

The word stewardship means responsibly taking care of something you were given but don’t own.

Everything belongs to God. God has given everything to humans and wants us to take care of it; God wants us to be stewards. God wants us to share with others in ways that make their lives better.

What has God given us? In his Small Catechism, as a part of his teaching of the Apostles' Creed, Luther explains that God created me and everything that exists. What’s more, God continues to daily and abundantly give us everything we need for life. 
Everything included in the necessities and nourishment for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, an upright spouse, upright children, upright members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.
How can we be good stewards of all these gifts?

Think of the earth. God trusts us to be a good steward and take care of the earth and every living creature on the earth. What does that mean? There are lots of options - from making your home as waste-free as possible to planting a garden to reducing your carbon footprint, to writing advocacy letters about taking action on climate change.

Think of yourself. God has given you abilities, and a body, and a brain. God trusts you to be a good steward of yourself. What does that mean? That means doing all those things that parents, and doctors, and spouses, and friends tell you to do: Eat well, exercise, sleep enough. It also would mean appreciating and refining your unique abilities that are mediated through your body and brain. It would mean finding the time and ways to generously share your gifts to the benefit of others.

Think of your stuff, including money. Luther has quite a list up there. What does that mean? Stewarding physical stuff including money means to appreciate what you have, to be careful not to waste or ruin things. It also means to be generous and openhearted in your sharing that stuff.

Generosity: showing a readiness to give more of something, such as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected.

Luther lists relationships. What do those mean? Stewarding relationships means appreciating and giving thanks for them (and to them?). It also nurtures them with respect, trust, time, and a generous spirit. Borrowing from Luther one more time, it would mean supporting the relationship with an eighth commandment spirit:
We do not tell lies about our neighbors, betray or slander them, or destroy their reputations. Instead we are to come to their defense, speak well of them, and interpret everything they do in the best possible light.

You've seen Luther's list. 
It's your turn. 

Think of all that God has given you. 
Think of your stewardship of those gifts. 

What does being a steward mean for what you have identified on your list?

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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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