Yesterday I wandered into the waters of saints whose memories have faded, and suggested that their influence has not. Today I’m pondering the relationship between All Saints and stewardship. How do they inform each other. Let’s continue with pondering ‘saint.’
Though we explore great verses unknown as a quality of saintliness, there is still a question of Who is a saint? In other words, there is more saintliness than genuine generosity. Mark Tranvik writes: Our designation as saints comes from our rich inheritance of Christ’s righteousness (Ephesians 1:11). [i] Our being ‘chosen’ is not the results of our actions nor our morality, it’s of Christ. Tranvik continues: election implies a significant responsibility. One is chosen so that one might be an instrument of God’s purposes in the world. … God’s purpose and not our own. [ii] Therefore, whatever quality of saintliness one has is of Christ and imputes a responsibility to be an active agent for God.
For several years I have shifted my preaching and teaching about stewardship away from time talent and treasure, towards exploring What we are stewards of? The answer is Jesus’ ministry to proclaim the Kingdom of God has come near. Proclaiming the presence of the Kingdom is an aspect of Jesus’ ministry, and he specifically passes that ministry to his followers, to all baptized Christians, to us. [iii]
So, being an intentional steward of Jesus’ ministry falls within the conception of God’s purpose. And using a basic mathematical principle [iv] our designation as a steward also comes from our rich inheritance of Christ’s righteousness. and imputes a responsibility to be an active agent for God.
Stewardship chairs relax; I haven’t really jacked-up the difficulty of teaching stewardship. In truth you, we, should be comforted. Tranvik also writes …election is meant to be comforting. … [our] fear about election is put into proper perspective when we realize that the one coming to judge is the one who was judged for our sin.[v] So while being a saint or being a steward imputes us with divine responsibility, the final judge of our living into such a calling is with us always, even to the end of the age.