Now is the time to think of stewardship! “But it’s summer; I don’t think of stewardship at church until November when they ask for money.”
Yes, it is summer and time to think about all of the gifts from God. Yes, the congregation, synod and ELCA need your continued monetary support, but stewardship is so much more.
Summer is a time for many to think of vacation, relaxation. Just like a Sabbath, it can be a time of rest from work that consumed you over the past year. It is a time of stewardship of your God given resources of body and mind. Reflect on how wisely you have used those resources this past year. Stewardship is about how you have consumed or abused those resources that have been given to you. Did you gain weight like me? Did you spend too much time watching TV like me? How about wasted time on the computer like me? It is a rainy day and I am reflecting on how I have wasted some of the gifts given to me by God. I can do better!
Church activities often slowdown in the summer. Now can be a time to reflect on the spiritual gifts I have been given. Have I been too busy with Sunday School, ushering, and other busy work at church so that I did not really listen to the Word of God? How am I doing on my spiritual stewardship? When is the last time I read an entire book of the Bible rather than a few chosen verses that come each Sunday. Did I really hear the sermon or did I just watch the baby in front of us?
Finally, how am I spending my money? Did I just buy stuff or did I invest in an experience or nurture a friendship that will last a lifetime. How we spend, save and give our money says much about who we are. Do we have our priorities straight? Are they in line with what we say we believe? What god do we serve when we use our monetary gifts?
Yes, summer is a time to think about stewardship. It is a time to think about our relationships with God, family and friends. It can be a time when we reflect on Sabbath, the time when God saw “everything that he had made, and behold it was very good.” And when he “finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day” God has given us a model – rest and reflect on what we have done and who we are. Can we also reflect on what we have done and how we have been stewards of the many things God has given us, body, mind, spirit and also the monetary gifts. It all comes from God.