This weekend we begin our walk together to Consecration Sunday, December 2nd. Stewardship is fundamental to our lives as individual disciples of Jesus, and to our life together as a community of disciples here in the Cathedral parish, and as we participate in the life of the larger church, including the Diocese of Rupert’s Land, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the whole body of Christ in the world.
So, take a look at part of the Gospel reading for this Sunday from the 12th chapter of St. Mark: [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
This amazing woman of faith whom Jesus watched as she put her tiny donation into the offering plate (temple treasury) sets a very high bar, but don’t despair. The story reminds us most basically that we who call ourselves disciples of Christ all receive the holy call as part of our baptismal vocation to be faithful stewards of everything that God has entrusted to us, which is everything we have and everything we are. The word ‘steward’ in the Bible is from a Greek word which means ‘the one given charge of the affairs of a… household, directing the [other] household servants, and controlling the household expenses on behalf of the master.’ (Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible)
In the next weeks we’ll listen as three parishioners share their own steward-story, as part of our community journey of faith, growing in our own trust of God’s never-failing faithfulness, leading us to consider our own commitments of everything that God has entrusted to us, in whatever form, time, talents, or treasure. Money is simply one very concrete way of measuring a part of the full treasure of God’s grace and goodness with which God has blessed all of us.
Every member of our parish will receive a stewardship packet including a letter from me and Ted Ash and Willi Slipetz, an informational sheet, What is Stewardship, a Time and Talent Offering sheet, and an Estimate of Giving Form. On Consecration Sunday, December 2nd, all the completed forms, representing us, will be brought forward during the 10:30 worship service and presented for consecration, on behalf of the master. A Luncheon Celebration will follow worship, downstairs in the John West Hall.
I hope and pray that all members can be with us that day. It’s also the first Sunday in Advent, and what a great way to celebrate New Year’s, giving thanks for God’s faithfulness as we begin a new year on the church calendar, filled with hope because we know that God is trustworthy and true. We have God’s living Word on that, Jesus Christ our Lord.
“To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:20