"Stewardship: Managing Our Resources"

A Sermon Based on Luke 12:35-46 and Corinthians 3:21-4:2

"Stewardship" is a good Old English word that one hardly hears anymore, except in the confines of churches! And then, in church, the concept of "stewardship" has become connected almost exclusively to the annual fund-raising "pledge" campaign in support of the church budget. It has come to mean "money!"


It is my hope to "redeem" the venerable word – steward-ship -- from the narrow (and often negative) confines of "fund-raising" into which this powerful (and, I believe, positive!) biblical metaphor has been relegated.


To be a steward is more than a matter of money; more than merely material concerns. To be a "good & faithful steward" is a unique role in society outlined by Jesus for his followers. To have (at heart) the attitudes & actions of a good steward is a gift that makes a person more "Christ-like."


Before I define the word "steward," let me first remind you of the brief story -- actually a parable of Jesus, as recorded by Luke:


"Who is the faithful and wise steward?" Jesus asked. "The one whom his

master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper

time."


That, in short, is the description of a steward: one who is set "in charge" of a household economy -- a family estate, or a business -- with the task: to assure all is managed fairly, fully, and in timely fashion.


Jesus goes on to say: "Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions...


… But if that servant [on the other hand] says: "My master is away... delayed!" And so, he beats his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunkards... The master will return -- on a day when the servant does not expect him, at an hour he does not know -- and will punish him..."


It's a scary story the way Jesus tells it, because it is intended to warn his followers to be good stewards (wise!), fully and fairly managing the affairs of the One who is their lord.


The word "steward/stewardship" appears 26 times in the Bi