A new year and it is time to think about stewardship. Wasn’t that in November when the church talks about stewardship?
Stewardship is what we do with all of our resources all of the time. How do we spend our time? Too much football this past week when Wisconsin and Green Bay both lost? Too much time eating when it is COLD outside and not enough exercise (but it is really COLD outside this Monday morning)? How about our finances?
Have you spent too much for Christmas? We all seem to do that in December and then the bills come due in January. Stewardship is about setting priorities in our lives, not just giving to church. Stewardship is how we live when no one is watching us, in the quiet time when we are home on a cold winter night or on a hot summer afternoon when we might want to party. How do we set our priorities? When do we think of our church, our mission, about the poor and homeless?
Stewardship is about how we live in the light of Jesus Christ. How we need to think about more than ourselves and our comfortable lives. No matter how difficult our lives seem, most people in the world would love to have just some of the things we take for granted. Think about our partners on Mt. Meru who have suffered through drought that has brought massive areas of extreme hunger. Think about El Salvador where people were just evacuated because of the recent eruption of a Volcano. And those are just our partners, people in our companion synods.
Did we make any New Year’s resolutions that are soon forgotten? Stewardship of our time, talent and money is not about a resolution that is soon forgotten. It is about who we are as a people of God. Do we really put God first or is that something we just say in church? Do we really follow Jesus and tithe or is that too much of a commitment?
It is easy to sit in a nice warm home on a cold winter day, with food, water and sewer connections all within a few feet. Yes, that describes me today. But I must renew my commitment to care for the poor, visit the sick, remember those in prison and yes, remember my tithe and even some more.
May God bless your new year!
Richard Lindberg, Greater Milwaukee Synod Stewardship Team