Our Stewardship articles come from http://www.lcms.org/stewardship. Here at St. Matthew's, we take our work in our church, communities, and at home seriously. We strive to dedicate ourselves and our purposes to the betterment of all around us, to the Glory of God. We pray that God guides our hands and our hearts in their work.
In the December 2017 issue of StewardCAST, LCMS Stewardship Ministry considers three different prepositions that come up when discussing stewardship: TO, FROM and THROUGH.
Stewardship has been described as what the Christian gives TO – the steward gives a gift TO the Lord.
When speaking about the rationale of stewardship, there is also use of the word FROM. The faithful Christian steward gives their gifts FROM gratitude to the goodness of the Lord.
However, the preposition THROUGH best captures the essence of a faithful steward. God entrusts to His stewards things of the greatest value – the first and foremost treasure is the Gospel. It is time to move to a stewardship understanding that is THROUGH God working in and through His stewards for the sake of His kingdom.
Christmas is coming. It is a joyous time of feasting. The Church feasts upon the Word of God in sermon, song, and sacrament.
We hear the proclamation of the message of the angels: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10–11).
We mingle our voices with theirs as we sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14)!
We receive the proclaimed Savior, Christ the Lord, not wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in manger, but wrapped in bread and wine placed into our mouths for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.
We feast in great joy indeed because of this great blessing from our Lord and God.
God’s people in ancient Israel also feasted with great joy. The Lord showered His abundant blessing on His people. And He commanded them to feast upon it (Deut. 16). The people were to go to the place appointed, where the Lord would make His name dwell, and give offerings, each man as he was able, according to the blessing of the Lord that He had given them (Deut. 16:10, 15, 17).
And there the Lord would bless them with joy as they feasted upon what the Lord had provided. They ate of the choice parts of their offerings. They enjoyed the company of all the people of God as they together heard His promises of blessing, sang of His bountiful goodness, and partook of what He gave.
We feast on the Word who became flesh to dwell among us, not just during Christmas, but throughout all the year.
We feast not just on the salvation He has wrought for us in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, but we feast also on all the temporal blessings that God gives out of His fatherly divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in us.
We enjoy the rich bounty that God provides, not only in Word and Sacrament, but also in house and home, property and income, family and friends.
Let us then, as did our brothers in the faith from ancient Israel, give as we are able, according to the blessing of the Lord our God that He has given us.
Let us, like them, give generously of the first fruits of our income, which He gives, so that all may know and enjoy the salvation He gives and the joy we have in the Savior born in the city of David, who is Christ the Lord.