Pastor Tom: Good Morning, everyone! Today I would like to talk about stewardship. Now stewardship is about the way we manage all of our resources, all of our time, and all of our gifts. Stewardship is how we live and manage our whole lives. ( I continue talking… )
Stu: ( Interrupts Pastor Tom ) Pastor, why do you always talk about stewardship? Talk about something else. Besides these days no one wants to hear a message about stewardship.
Pastor Tom: Stu, it is important for me to talk about stewardship. God calls each one of us to use wisely all the gifts that God gives to us.
Stu: Ok, can you say more, Pastor. What do you mean by saying that God calls each one of us to use wisely all the gifts that God gives to us?
Pastor Tom: Sure, one teaching that I always come back to is that God is the source of all life. This is what the Bible teaches us. Everything in this created world is from God. You are from God. I am from God. We all are from God. Our congregation is from God.
Stu: Wow, Pastor that is deep.
Pastor Tom: True! God is indeed the source of all life and God gives us all things to enjoy and to use. But God trusts that we will use God’s gifts in life-giving ways. This means that we use our resources to further God’s work in the world, we use our time to help one another, we use our talents to serve others. God does not need our money, our time, or our talents but God’s work here on earth needs it. For example, in this congregation if we do not give generously, serve humbly, or help one another than our church would cease to exist and this good work that we are doing in Jesus’ name would not happen.
Stu: I think I am starting to understand now why stewardship is such an important part of our life together.
Pastor Tom: Yes, and stewardship is something that we need to remind each other about on a regular basis. Stu, I sometimes forget about stewardship and in some ways, stewardship is always a work in progress. What I mean by that is that I am constantly growing in my understanding of stewardship and in how I can more faithfully manage all the gifts that God has given to me.
Stu: Makes sense to me, Pastor. One more question here.
Pastor Tom: Yes, go ahead with your question.
Stu: In the church is stewardship the same as the Gospel?
Pastor Tom: Well, in the church stewardship again is how we manage the gifts that God has given us and the Gospel refers to the good news of Jesus Christ. In today’s Bible reading from the book of Matthew chapter twenty-two Jesus tells a parable about a wedding banquet. In this parable we learn that Jesus invites all people to God’s kingdom or in this case to the wedding banquet but in order to be in God’s kingdom we must put on the wedding clothes of justice, truth, mercy, and holiness. The required wedding garment is to live according to Jesus’ teachings. If we think about stewardship and the Gospel here the Gospel would be God’s invitation for all people to be included in God’s kingdom. The stewardship part here would be that Jesus asks us to live our lives in a way that ushers forth God’s world even now.
Stu: I see. So again, Pastor stewardship is about how we live our lives and the Gospel is about God’s free gift of grace and love extended to all people.
Pastor Tom: Exactly! I once heard it said that stewardship is everything that happens after a person says I believe. We believe in the Gospel the good news of Jesus Christ and his love and forgiveness given for all. Now Stu, I have a question for you.
Stu: What’s your question?
Pastor Tom: Do you like country music?
Stu: I love country music especially Garth Brooks and that singer, Allan Jackson!
Pastor Tom: I thought so. Stu, you are in for a treat now. How about listening to that great hymn that speaks about God’s call for us to share the old, old story of Jesus and his love for us.
Stu: Is it going to be sung by Allan Jackson?
Pastor Tom: Yes!
Stu: Maybe next week we can hear a song from Garth Brooks.
Pastor Tom: Maybe but I don’t want to over do it. I know that you really like country music but I don’t think that I like country music as much as you. (I don’t know if you really do like country music.)
Stu: Ok, ok… one Allan Jackson song goes a long way.
Pastor Tom: Yes, so true. Carol and Ron let’s hear that great hymn: “I Love to Tell the Story!”