“Stewardship” is perhaps one of the most dreaded words in the church. When we learn that our congregation is having a “stewardship Sunday” – we start making plans to attend elsewhere on that day because the last thing we want is to come to church and be brow-beaten into stretching our already thinned household budget.
Perhaps part of our distaste for the term “stewardship” comes from bad experiences in the past, or hearing stewardship sermons that are great at hammering the law but leave us despairing from the lack of forgiveness. Perhaps the distaste brings too much guilt from knowing that we could be doing more to give to the Lord. Perhaps the distaste comes from our sorrowing that we don’t have more to give to the Lord.
As most of you know, the need has arisen in our congregation for the repair of our stained-glass windows. It is an extensive project with a formidable price tag: but the windows do need to be repaired and protected. In order to cover the cost of the window repairs, we will soon be entering a time of fundraising. Because of this, it is prudent that we take the time to talk about good stewardship. Some of that conversation will start in the form of newsletter/bulletin articles and letters (like this one). In March, we will begin a Bible Study looking at The Gifts of Christians during our Saturday and Sunday Adult Bible Classes. Please join us as we hear what God teaches about His gift of money to us, and please join the conversation with us during these times.
One further thing to ponder- as we engage in this conversation on stewardship, I would like you to honestly answer one question: “What is your biggest treasure?”
Odds are, most of you will respond with, “My family. My children. My grandchildren.” This indeed is a great treasure! Knowing this, let us be good stewards of that treasure and render it unto the Lord. May we be diligent in bringing that treasure to the Lord so that He may bless it. I know you want the best for your family, your treasure. Commend your treasure to the Lord in prayer, and place it in the one place it won’t be lost or destroyed. You have the promise of Jesus, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).
Let us pray: “We give Thee but Thine own, whate’er the gift may be; all that we have is Thine alone, a trust O Lord, from Thee. May we Thy bounties thus as stewards true receive and gladly, as Thou blesses us, to Thee our first-fruits give!” Amen. (LSB 781:1-2).