Stewardship thoughts for October 2017

October 1 (Trinity XVI)

Ephesians 3:14-15 – “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” We have a Father in heaven. He cares for us. He knows how to give us all good things. This knowledge frees us from worry and anxiety. Jesus returned to this theme again and again, and we should take Him at His Word: our Father will care for us, so we can be secure in generosity and faithful living.

October 8 (Trinity XVII)

Luke 14:11 – “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” The Kingdom of God is always upside and backwards like this. We must die in order to live. We must be humbled so we can be exalted. It’s like this with giving as well. When we give away, then we receive much more than we bargained for: peace of mind, contentment, joy.

October 15 (Trinity XVIII)

Matthew 22:40 – “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” We serve God and our neighbor through the various vocations (holy callings) that God has given us. We do not need to go searching for or inventing good works: God has given us roles to fill in Home, Church, and Society and that will keep us plenty busy! When we seek to fulfill the duties of these vocations in a spirit of faith, God-pleasing works are the result.

October 22 (Trinity XIX)

Ephesians 4:24 – “Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” We have a new identity in Christ. Our old identity was in Adam: sinner, enemy of God, destined for death and destruction. But in Christ, we have a new self: forgiven, child of God, cleansed, destined for life everlasting. These two identities continue to struggle as we exist in this fallen world. So St. Paul encourages us to “put on the new self” - to consciously exert effort to cling to Christ in faith and claim our new identity in Him. Coming to the Lord’s House, faithfully supporting the ministry, praying and reading the Scripture daily: these are the works of the new self.

October 29 (Reformation Day)

John 8:36 – “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Happy 500th Anniversary of the Reformation! Luther is rightly remembered as a champion of the Gospel – but he also called himself “the apostle of good works.” For only in being set free by the Gospel can we do good works. Jesus has set us free: His blood covers over our sins and now we stand before God as His beloved children, invited to live our lives to His glory for the good of His kingdom.