Got Stuff? ~ The Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI

goodsteward-sermonarchive

Are we true Stewards of God?

Gospel LK 16:1-13

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you?  Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’  The steward said  to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?  I am not strong enough to dig and I am  ashamed to beg.  I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’  He  called in his master’s debtors one by one.  To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  He replied, ‘One hundred measures of  olive oil.’  He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.  Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’  Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’  He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’  The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’  And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.  “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.  I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.  The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones;and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.  If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?  If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?  No servant can serve two masters.  He will either hate one and love the other,  or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

In today’s Gospel we are hearing the Parable of the dishonest Steward. Each of us are also stewards to the Lord our God. A steward is a person who manages property or money for the true owner. We are all stewards because God created all and is the true owner of all. Are we true and honest stewards of God within our lives, or are we like the steward in the Gospel reading today?  How many times do we see the possessions and resources we have been charged with as our own?  How many times do we use these for our own human purposes instead of in the way that God who truly owns them, has entrusted us to use them for his glory?

Everything upon the earth belongs to God our heavenly Father, not only material things and resources, but also all of our brothers and sisters, who God also created.

In truth we are all less than worthy stewards because we each fall short of the Glory of God. We are called to love each other as God loves us, to feed and clothe the poor and to the spread the true word of the salvation of God to all upon his earthly Kingdom. Do we love all as we ought? Do we use all that has been entrusted to us to teach, feed and nourish the children of God as our Father asks of us, or do we wallow in materialism and Greed? We cannot serve two masters, both God our Father and earthly wealth and possessions. We shall all be brought to account for our way of undertaking the stewardship that we have been given. Let us pray to our heavenly Father to ask for his guidance in being the true stewards that he has called each of us to be:

Heavenly Father,

You are an amazing God—steadfast in your love, abundant in your mercy, and wise in your actions. You are a wonderful creator God who has provided a magnificent creation with abundant resources for us to enjoy. We recognize our sinfulness and thank you for your mercy and grace extended to us through Jesus on the cross.

Your word tells us in James 1:5 that those who ask for wisdom in faith will receive it. Today, we pray for wisdom and for understanding in how to best steward the resources you have given while demonstrating love toward our fellow brothers and sisters.

Lord, we desire to be good stewards. We do not want to waste resources or use them selfishly with sinful desires of personal gain. Yet, we understand that the second greatest commandment is to love others as ourselves. As we create policies that help us protect the environment and use our resources wisely, please grant us wisdom that we will not value the created earth over humans created in your image. Please allow us wisdom to create policies and practices that allow for human flourishing all across the globe.

Allow us to align our priorities with yours in valuing the souls for which you died more than the resources we steward. Allow us to have a greater passion for the Gospel and spreading the Good News that changes lives than we have for making sure the earth never changes. God grant us wisdom to know when to speak and when to act so that we live in such a way as to glorify you with all of our words and our deeds, and may your name be exalted among every tribe and tongue. In Jesus name we pray through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

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