To say that the Holy Spirit is involved in our worship planning is a no brainer. We would all agree that somehow God acts and moves in my sermon preparation and delivery, in Matt’s selection of liturgy, in all aspects of our work. Why then are we surprised when something we read, a situation we experience, or a conversation ties directly to our topic?
I was reading from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals this morning and came across a quote from Jesuit Jean-Pierre de Caussade (18th Century). Now, don’t forget, this upcoming sermon is on stewardship; it is about realizing all we have is God’s and we are responsible to use it for his purposes.
The great and firm foundation of the spiritual life is the offering of ourselves to God and being subject to his will in all things. We must completely forget ourselves, so that we regard ourselves as an object which has been sold and over which we no longer have any rights. We find all our joy in fulfilling God’s pleasure — his happiness, his glory and the fact that he is our great and only delight. Once we have this foundation, all we need to do is spend our lives rejoicing that God is God and being so wholly abandoned to his will that we are quite indifferent as to what we do and equally indifferent as to what use he makes of our activities. (p. 134)
You may need to read this a couple of times to let it sink in. It is a powerful confession that our lives are not our own. We have given them over to God to use for his purposes.
When we see the word “steward” or “stewardship” in a sermon title, we assume the pastor is going to talk about money. But stewardship is much deeper than dollars. Sure, it has to do with dollars. If our checkbooks are not submitted to God, there is a problem. Jesus has much to say about money and it a key concern for anyone who seriously follows Him. Yet, living as a steward is a worldview; it is about how we understand our proper relationship to the Creator.
We are going to explore the parable of the prudent steward in Luke 16:1-13 this week. Jesus defines our position before God as He shocks us by praising questionable behavior. Join us on Sunday as we engage the story together.