What do you think of when you hear the word “Stewardship?” In terms of church and our faith in Christ, we probably first think of giving – “How much do I give?” or “How often should I give?” or “Why should I give.” Often for us, the tie to being stewards is connected to our monetary giving. We might think the more we give the better stewards we are. While this is sometimes true, I think we must go beyond the offering time of the Sunday worship service if we’re going to truly become the good stewards our Lord calls us to be.
Where do we begin? As in all things, we should look first at our relationship with God. As I was writing the previous paragraph, I had written the word “God,” as in “ . . . God calls us to be.” I changed “God” to “our Lord,” because I felt it was better understood if it implied a relationship with Him. You see, if we only know of God, we haven’t realized all that God created us to have. We are made in the image of God, meaning we are created to have a relationship with Him that no other part of creation was made to have. When we read in Genesis of God walking in the garden (as Adam and Eve try to hide from God), it speaks of that relationship, intended for them and intended for us as well, now made possible for us through the cross of Christ, our sin forgiven and our relationship restored.
Being stewards is now what we do with that relationship. It is being what the Lord has called us to be, not just on Sundays but on the other days as well. The Apostle Paul describes that relationship as a fragrance – an aroma – leaving the knowledge of God with others: “Thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God” (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).
Being stewards of God means leaving with others an aroma, a remembrance of who God is and what He did for us in Christ, and what He continues to do for us through His Holy Spirit. Being stewards is a call to fulfill that which He has entrusted to us. Paul, writing to Timothy but also speaking to us, says, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us” (2 Timothy 1:13-14).
Be sure to join us for worship each Sunday in May – we’ll be looking to God’s Word concerning how we can be the best stewards we can be for our Lord. Entrusted and privileged – what a joy for us, for we both belong to God and are called and empowered to be His people – His good stewards. Amen.