Sisters and Brothers,
A month has already gone by in the new Connexional Year! I trust that we are travelling with the Lord, from the old things to the new, as the hymnist Sydney Carter suggests we do.
It is October, the month we agreed to focus on Christian Stewardship. Apart from what we will do in Bible Study, the focus for the five Lord’s Days is indicated on the circuit plan:
2nd – Stewardship of Time
9th– Stewardship of Talent (Gifts)
16th– Stewardship of Life
23rd– Stewardship of Money (material Resources)
30th – Stewardship of Earth’s Resources
A good place to start is to ask and answer the question, “What does it mean to be a steward?”
A steward is a manager, a trusted servant, responsible for seeing to the affairs of the employee. In the Bible the steward was responsible for such things as administration- purchasing supplies, overseeing the other servants, keeping records. The Greek word for steward, oikonomos literally means “manager of the household. “
The idea of stewardship is rooted in God’s Word. This biblical concept includes the idea that God is the architect of an entire household. To be included in this household means participating in the new life which emerges from God’s constant process of creation. A place in the family of God implies devotion to the welfare of all who are included.
As Christian Stewards, we recognise that:
- God is Creator and Owner of everything. The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it (Psalm 24: 1) This principle is seen clearly in Genesis chapters 1 and 2;.
- Human beings are called to be managers- stewards of God’s world. (Luke 12: 16 – 21)
- The human is not the owner but is given dominion over all that God created and owned. (Gen. 1: 26ff); Gen. 2: 15)
- Human beings are responsible and accountable to God for the management of God’s creation, including the very life that God has entrusted to us. (Mat. 25: 4 – 30; Luke 12: 42 – 45)
God has honoured humans, giving us a part to play in creation. We have been placed in the God’s Garden to “dress it” and “keep it.” (Genesis 2: 15)
The Bible shows clearly that we are all stewards to whom God has entrusted such gifts as life, time, varied abilities or talents, material possessions including money, the gospel, our relationships at home, at work, in the church, etc, health and the environment.
What then is Christian Stewardship? Christian Stewardship is man’s recognition of God’s sovereignty over creation and is a grateful response to God’s manifold gifts. Man’s response is expressed his dedicated and creative use of all these gifts towards the fulfilment of Christ’s mission in the world.
Christianity is a response to the love of God as revealed in Christ and expressed in terms of proper stewardship of all the resources available for the sustenance and enrichment of life. Christian Stewardship is humankind’s grateful and obedient response to God’s redeeming love, expressed by the resources for the fulfilment of Christ’s mission in the world.
Let us endeavour to be good stewards who do not take God’s gifts for granted, but rather, live in grateful response to the one who so generously gifted us.
May we always praise the Lord, even as we use our gifts to the glory of God.
Yours in Christ
Joan Delsol Meade