In the worship folder each week, there is a section called "Taking the Church Home." These are reflections, activities and prayer based on the weekend lessons.
The following is from the Week of October 14 to October 21, 2001, during stewardship emphasis week.
Daily Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Almighty God our Father, your generous goodness comes to us every day.
By the work of your Holy Spirit, lead us to acknowledge your goodness,
give thanks for your benefits and return to you a faithful portion of our times, talents and treasurers you have entrusted to us. Through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Stewardship is "giving back to God a portion of what God has given you."
Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:7
What do you have that you did not receive?
What are five things that you are aware God has given you?
What do you do to show your gratitude?
Stewardship is "showing our thankfulness to God by sharing and caring for others in response to God's love for us."
Who really owns my possessions - God or Me?
Have you consciously affirmed God's ownership of your possessions?
Have you thanked God for entrusting them to your care?
How will your living reflect your responses to God's entrustment to you?
Stewardship is "the giving from our soul, our time, talents and treasures to the glory of God and the betterment of God's creation."
But what about all the things I worked hard to buy?
Don't they belong to me?
Think about your "relationships" with your material possessions.
How do things "possess" us instead of us possessing them?
How do you use your possessions for the well being of others?
Stewardship is "the giving of ourselves to the world so that we will know the joy of being used by our God."
If God really does own everything, how much of my possessions shall I give back?
The giving of one-tenth (a tithe) according to the Bible is essential to spiritual growth and health, and for a trustful relationship with God.
A tithe would be $_____________ per week.
Will God provide?
Stewardship is "not just talking the talk but walking the walk."
Reading: Luke 19:1-8
What is the relationship between your faith and your possessions?
Make a list of your most important possessions.
What does the way you share your possessions reflect about your priorities?
Stewardship is "everything I do after I say I believe."
Reading: Matthew 6:21
Maybe risking our treasures will help our hearts go where we want them to go - into a closer relationship with God.
What is God calling your to give as a portion of your income?
Pray for God's guidance in answering this personal, spiritual question.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, South Dakota Rev. Tim Thies, Senior Pastor
Image credit: © Ignacio García Losa (ignaciogarcialosa.com) via Flickr. Used by permission.