Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly’s sermon notes from Ohio Association of Swedenborgian Churches Service on World Communion Sunday 10/6/19:
“Stewardship of Life”
The Lord is the ultimate Steward of the Earth, lent to us while we reside on it. The land was created amid the wide blue seas, buffeted and embraced by the winds. If we have pure hearts, honoring our true Lord and Savior, we may be welcome to visit the holy place, in the mountains, and the Lord’s presence will bless us.
Welcome to the King of Glory. We are blessed to be in his presence here and now.
We are taught to make the best use of the time we have. To walk with our heads high, and embrace all with bold hearts. With the Lord’s help we will overcome evil and lead good lives. The Lord gives us stewardship over our very lives, treasures, talents and gifts
<Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13: 1-17>
In the parable of the sower we are taught to be cautious where we plant our seeds. Be sure we nestle them in fertile ground and not on rocks, not in shallow soil, nor where birds can eat them, nor where they can be scorched or choked off. Alas, there are also many people who do not see and do not hear the word of the Lord God. Yet, fortunately, however, some are indeed blessed with eyes that see and ears that hear. Let us be grateful for such good fortunes.
In another Gospel reading, in Luke 6:38, we are taught about the wisdom of the stewardship of our time, our treasures, and our talents. Talents are sometimes understood as coins, and variously we may understand them as the talents and gifts we have been given. As we give, so we will be given to. Be generous, and we will be rewarded with multiplying blessings, again and again. All who ask, indeed we shall receive abundantly of the blessings of the Lord.
Looking further at Stewardship, in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “stewardship” is the conducting, supervising or managing of something entrusted to our counsel and care. We are taught to understand that good stewards are committed to selfless service.
We believe in sustainability.
We believe in inclusiveness.
We embrace innovation and change, and we are team players, quick to give others credit, and not to boast.
Doing a little bit more research: I found
“Four Principles of Biblical Stewardship,” by Hugh Whelchel
- The principle of ownership, lent from the Lord, as we are able to create wealth and abundance through his goodness.
- The principle of responsibility. It is owners who have rights where stewards have responsibilities.
- The principle of sustainability. Recalling the parable of the talents, the more we have been given, the more we are to share and care of the well-being of others. Matthew 25:21 that you receive all benefits and gains from the Lord as an inherited reward. Thus, in return, it is the Lord we are sewing. And the Lord responds, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
As we has been faithful with what has give to us, so your blessings will increase the more good you do.
Our lives are the Lord’s gifts to us. Embrace it fully. Be grateful for all we have been given. Hold it lightly, without fear or clutching. Share as much as we can with others.
As we are good stewards of our lives, so we will be surrounded by increasing blessings, good friends, happiness and love. ~Amen.