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– Matthew 6:21
It may be strange to hear a Bible passage usually tied to stewardship brought up in this time of crisis, but I think there is a direct connection. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus is teaching his followers about discipleship—following the path of God. He is guiding them into a closer relationship with their heavenly father through a closer relationship with him. We do well to listen.
Here he is saying that those things which we value highly reflect our spiritual core—our “heart.” It’s where we focus our time, thoughts, energies, and emotions. If our focus is on money, that reflects our spiritual core. If our energies are centered on a human relationship, that is where our heart is (think romance novels). BUT, as Jesus says, all these earthly things die, decay, get stolen. They don’t last, don’t sustain. Rather, he tells us to “store up treasures in heaven” that last eternally (verse 20).
Faith is not just a cerebral acceptance of the existence of God but a whole-person alignment with our Creator and Savior. It’s making that relationship our “treasure.” It’s about aligning our hearts with God’s heart and then living that out.
How are we doing? I admit that I struggle with this. No doubt you do, too. That’s why I chose this passage for today’s devotion. I think most of our culture struggles with it. We hear so many cries for MY personal rights, MY constitutional rights, etc., etc. I sympathize. But if we consider our first allegiance-- our allegiance to our God-- then perhaps we can sit back a minute and take stock. All is God’s, not mine. How I treat what is God’s is my first question. It’s a matter of stewardship, not rights.
We are blessed with choices. We can choose to wear or not wear masks. We can socially distance or not. We have lots of choices. Many in the world don’t (think India, Central America). How we use our choices is a matter of wisdom and stewardship. How others fare is a matter of how we use our choices.
Yes, even in a pandemic, stewardship plays an important role.
– Rolf Olson, Visitation Pastor
God of all, thank you for all you have given us—and for more to come. As your blessed children help us to make good choices that please you and serve your world. May our treasure be you. May our actions reflect that. Amen.