Rev. Stu Cameron writes that “the grace of giving is built on the fundamental understanding that all that we have is a gift from God to be stewarded, not hoarded.” Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. The God of the Universe has entrusted you with time, money, talents, possessions, the earth and opportunities. What kind of steward are you?
They say that to do a great work you must begin small, and you must keep it simple. I believe the same is true of stewardship. I had the opportunity recently to participate in “Walk the Talk”, a prayer walk with members of other area churches, the Ten Point Coalition Foot Patrols, and community members through the Oxford Community Association. Over two hundred of us put aside our political differences, our theological backgrounds, and all the -isms that keep us separate to show support to a community held hostage to fear and violence. At every corner we stopped and prayed. When people came out on their porches to see what was going on, we stopped and prayed over them. Our prayers sounded different, expressed different ideas about God and our relationship to God. But the common strand that bound us together was Love, our love for that which created us, our common belief that God loves us, and our deep desire to do as we were commanded by Jesus “To Love Our Neighbor as Ourselves.” It was one small thing, but to the neighbors who watched us from their porches, to the ones we prayed over…transformative.
I also participated in an event sponsored by the Fort Wayne Jewish Federation, “Stand with Pittsburgh: A Prayer Gathering for Shalom.” Again, it was such a small thing, and yet I know that our prayers, our non-anxious presence, sent a ripple out throughout our community. We heard spiritual leaders from Baptist, Buddhist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Muslim offer prayers for peace alongside their Jewish neighbors. What I came to understand at an even deeper level was that every person is my neighbor, every neighborhood is my neighborhood, every living thing falls under my domain.
Here’s the bottom line: To be a trustworthy steward, you must see everything in life as sacred and therefore worthy of your generosity. Everyone is our neighbor, every neighborhood is our neighborhood. Whatever your treasures, whatever your talents, whatever you have and whatever you do, be radically generous with all of it. You are the transformative agent you seek…You are the Light in the Darkness…You are the living, loving expression of God right here right now. What kind of steward will you dare to be?