Lectionary Reflection for the Resurrection of our Lord, Year A, April 20, 2014
Jesus’ simple instructions to the women provide clear direction for us today. There’s no time like this present festival day to go and tell the good news. (Photo: dmitry b., Creative Commons)
The Bible gives a two-sided portrayal of wealth: It is good, but it can seduce us into sin. The solution, according to New Testament scholar Craig L. Blomberg, is to freely share it. In Christians in an Age of Wealth: A Biblical Theology of Stewardship (Zondervan), Blomberg, who teaches at Denver Seminary, argues that sacrificial giving is an essential part of good stewardship. He spoke with CT editor at large Rob Moll about our spending patterns and whether Christians are required to tithe. (Photo (c) Luke Peterson, used by Creative Commons license)
Despite prayerful and devoted service in the name of Christ, long hours, unrelenting pressures and constant exposure to the unrelenting problems of humanity takes a heavy toll on ministers. Burnout and fatigue can sap the energies of the best pastor. This excellent article explores the causes, symptoms — and help! — for burnout. (Photo © Alphaspirit – Fotolia.com)
When the concept of stewardship is developed in its total New Testament context it implies even more than trusteeship and responsibility. It contains the idea of partnership. The relation between master and servant gives way to the relation between friends working together for the realization of a common purpose.(Download a free PDF of this classic stewardship treatise from LCMS’ FaithAflame website.)
Living Wi$ely is a personal finance and budget counseling ministry that helps participants explore basic concepts of 1) creating and living within a budget; 2) saving, giving and getting out of debt; 3) biblical principles and spiritual issue of money. It is designed to be offered weekly for four weeks. The free online materials include the Financial Workshop Manual and a PowerPoint presentation for each of the four sessions. (Photo (c) Ariel Grimm, ShareAlike License)
While today some adults may think children do not need to learn stewardship, our Lord clearly proved he can make miracles happen even with a small contribution from a young child. The reasons for introducing stewardship to children are overwhelming. In fact, stewardship could be the greatest lesson we teach to our young people. (Photo © alphaspirit – Fotolia.com)
Stewardship theology begins with a basic understanding of the “otherness” of God. We begin by acknowledging that God is, by definition, beyond our comprehension. God is not only beyond our comprehension, but in essence “totally other.” Our foundational awareness of the Holy One occurs when we recognize that we are submerged and overwhelmed in our own nothingness. The Holy One is felt as objective and outside ourselves. (Photo (c) Keren Tan, ShareAlike License.)
So what can you do to help your tweens and teens learn the value of a dollar? Take direction from Proverbs 22:6: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (NIV) Here are some ideas to get started. (Photo by Steven DePolo, used by Creative Commons license. Thanks!)
Here’s a free, seven-part curriculum for leaders who want to plumb the depths of their congregation’s financial soul.
Here’s a free online course on biblical stewardship that you can really sink your teeth into. “Four Gospels” pays attention to the stewardship-of-life underpinnings of the four Gospels as it provides a scholarly overview. From Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.
This resource outlines the six most popular financial response models used by ELCA congregations. An easy-to-follow guide for new stewardship leaders. Available through the ELCA Resource Catalog or in PDF as a free download.