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Stewardship is more than $

November 19, 2007

Pastor Steve Olson, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Dassel

When we hear the word stewardship, we often think about money, but that is only part of the picture.

Stewardship also includes caring for every gift God has given us and using these gifts for God’s glory. So when we think about stewardship, we should also think about how we care for and use the environment, how we care for and use our bodies, how we care for and use our time, talents, treasures, and all the rest.

These are all God’s gifts to us and we are called to be good stewards of each. With some, though, it is easier than with others.

For example, for me, when it comes to personal stewardship of my wealth, I decide what my offerings will be and arrange for the money to be directly transferred from my checking account to our church accounts. That is easy, and once the decision is made, I don’t really have to think about it.

Other types of stewardship, though, are much harder.

Caring for the environment and using it wisely is not something that can be done by one person, alone. We need to be good stewards both as individuals and as communities.

The same could be said of caring for our bodies. With the cost of modern medical health care, one person, alone, cannot handle all the risks, and address emerging health concerns. Here, again, we need to work together.

We need to work together also when it comes to scheduling community activities. There is a real limit to how much a community can support financially and at the volunteer level. All these things require a community effort of conscientious stewardship, and the best place to start that effort is in the home.

Good stewards talk about how we spend time as a family. We talk about priorities and make sure those priorities get the attention they deserve.

We talk about how we, as a family, can care for creation by using less, reusing what can be reused, and recycling the rest.

We encourage one another to be good stewards of our bodies. We remind each other that all that we are and all that we have are gifts from God, entrusted to our stewardship.

And most importantly, we remember that one day, we will be called to give an accounting for our stewardship.

So, as individuals, families, and community, may God help us to live our lives intentionally as a steward of God’s gifts. May we live in such a way that on that day of accounting, these are the words we shall hear: “Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your Master.”