Exodus 22–24, Psalm 24, Matthew 25
Christians begin with a very important assumption that God created the world. Certainly this notion of God as Creator of all things is found in our creedal statements, which are rooted in the first followers’ experience of Jesus and echo our earlier Abrahamic tradition. Today we read in Psalm 24: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”
As creatures in this world, we are reminded that we are his and we are made as members of a wider creation. The temptation is to believe that God has given all of this to us to manipulate for our own purposes. The truth is, and we confess it regularly, that God creates all things (including us) and that all things belong to God.
When we open the gates of our hearts and souls to this reality, we find that we must respond. We respond not by negotiating percentages and ownership with God or others, but by being stewards of God’s whole world. Out of this understanding we care for the poor, we share our goods, and we remember our neighbor and especially God’s favorite people, the alien in a strange land. All things belong to God, as do we. Out of this stewardship comes a call to sow and multiply God’s grace and the wealth within his creation. We see not a world of scarcity, but rather a world of abundance, and out of that abundance we are able to share with others. We are able to feed, clothe, and shelter Christ in the form of the other. Stewardship is not a self-interested negotiation with the Creator.
What am I doing with God’s things? How am I using them?
Am I creating a sustainable world where all have enough and the riches of the kingdom of God are multiplied?
Heavenly Father, Creator of all good things, we know you reap where you did not sow and gather where you did not scatter; help us to be stewards of your creation in all aspects of our life. Amen.
-The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle
Bishop of Texas