Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Bethany Bullet - October 9, 2012

In his final book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy J. R. Tolkien chronicles the nearing collapse of Middle Earth. The race of men is close to falling, they are divided and leaderless; while they need a king to unite them none sits on the throne of the last great kingdom of men called Gondor. That doesn’t mean the throne is empty. There is one who sits on it, just not the king.  He is known as the Steward of Gondor.  Hear that, the STEWARD of Gondor, he isn’t the king but he has charge of the kingdom during the time the king (for whatever reason) is absent. 

My point, “steward” isn’t actually a church word. I know that when un-churched people hear that word, unless they are residents of Middle Earth or Lord of the Rings fans, they probably don’t know what the word means. I also realize that if they are churched that for them the word means, “hold on to your wallet.”  

However, in reality steward actually means to “manage in trust the possessions of another.”  Hence, the Steward of Gondor was simply put in place to manage the kingdom until the return of the king.  The twist in the plot was rather predictable, the steward, the manager, began to live and act as if the throne was actually his; as if the kingdom was his domain, and as if there was no difference in the title of steward and king.  That however is not the case. As a matter of fact, one can’t be a steward if he or she believes their stuff is their stuff!  In fact, you can only be a steward and you can only live a life of stewardship if you know your stuff is not your stuff. 

We are residents of the kingdom and while we await the King’s return we’ve been given charge, in trust, to manage the possessions that while under our control and found in our name, in truth and reality belong to the King of Kings!
It is possible to say that God has called us to be stewards because He made us in His own image.  That God in whose image we are made, that God is a giver!  Hording and holding, clinging and keeping are not the actions of the God in whose image you’ve been cast.  God is a giver!  He gave gifts to people, some to be prophets, apostles, and evangelists some to be teachers and so on and so forth, but that is not all He gave.  He gave talents to each and every, none is without one, be used in family, community, and ministry but that is not all He gave.  He gave His all when He gave His only begotten Son – who gave not a proportion but every breath to His very last one; He gave not a proportion but all of Himself down to the final drop of blood that poured from His body.  Our God is a giver!  As we give, we become more like Him!  Hence, when we determine to give proportionately we become more and more like the people He created us to be in the first place, ones in His own image. 
                -Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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