Sunday, October 22, 2017

Posted on Oct 20 2017

Bible Background: Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan to one of the religious experts who may or may not want to really ‘know’ what it takes to love God and love neighbor. This Samaritan has ‘steward’ written all over him, as someone who is a true manager of God’s gifts of time and ability and treasure!

Digging Deeper: 1. Often, the word stewardship comes up across the church when it’s time to talk $$, offerings, pledges, and tithing (giving 10% of one’s income to God). Those conversations are important! And yet, to be a steward is to be a full-time, faithful manager of all that God entrusts to us. That includes: our bodies, minds, spirits, relationships, faith, abilities, financial resources, freedoms, families, church, and community! Being good stewards is a huge part of our calling! Can we embrace this concept of stewardship?

2. Think of how the Good Samaritan story is a story of faithful stewardship (as opposed to the poor examples we meet in the first characters: robbers, priest, Levite.) What does the Samaritan do?
+He sees a person in need. He feels and shows compassion.
+He uses his 1st Aid skills! He uses his donkey to get the guy to safety.
+He gives of his time!
+He gives of his money! And he gives his word (to the innkeeper)!
Why does he do this? So that he receives a citizen’s award from the local Police? No. He does this because he can; because it’s the right and merciful thing to do!

3. If stewardship is really about how we manage and use all that God entrusts to us, then this is about how we think, live, and act every single day of our lives! What’s one part of your life where you can honestly say “I’m learning to be a good steward with regards to _______?” What’s one part of your life where you feel the ‘tug’ to be a better steward? How do you thank God for God’s gifts?

4. As a church, God entrusts us with many gifts too; with the Word and the Sacraments; with children and youth and people of all ages; with partnerships across the whole church; with peoples’ souls and even their bodies! We’re also entrusted with a piece of land, with buildings, and with financial resources. How would you say we’re doing as stewards together? What can we do to be better stewards? What specifically could be different?

“Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received!” -1 Peter 4:10