Biblical Stewardship 366

St. Augustine’s Anglican Church

Stewardship of Ourselves  

Stewardship is about how we use the gifts God has given us to work with God to make the world a better place, to help build the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Above all, clothe yourself with love which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:14-15)

Who could possibly have imagined how incredibly apt our present theme of self-care would become?  Now it seems the whole world is aware that if we don’t look after ourselves, there is very little that we can do to help God’s world and God’s people. The ‘Airplane/ Oxygen Mask Analogy’, seems truer than ever.  Even as we weep at the present tragedy, as God’s people we know that when we look back at these times, there will be good things that will have come out of the darkness and suffering.  I totally expect that we will become better Stewards because of our experiences, and we will have clearer understandings of our role as Christ’s hands and feet voice and heart. (At a safe distance of course). For each of us, our whole self, body, mind and spirit, is God’s gift.  How, as Good Stewards, can we look after this gift, cherish it and care for it, so that we can use it to make the world a better place? I think we all know by now.  We do what the experts tell us to do.  We know to stay home if we possibly can.  We also know to isolate ourselves if we feel ill (and we know the symptoms by now), and then follow the instructions of medical personnel.  We know to eat well and get plenty of rest and so stay as healthy as possible.  Exercise and fresh air are important.  St Paul seemed to have a pretty good idea of how to cope in similar circumstances… Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we maybe able to console those who are in any affliction.  (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4) Social isolation isn’t good for anyone.  It’s a good idea to phone people rather than emailing or texting, that way there’s more of a human connection.  My son is planning a weekly virtual family dinner together.  We’ll use Zoom and we’ll dine at our own tables and share news and chit chat with each other It’s important to keep informed and know what is going on, but don’t spend too much time fretting over the news.  If you start to feel panicky, pray, talk to someone, read a good book, take up painting, bake, do something that you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t had the time.  Listen to music – a favourite of mine.  Make sure you keep in touch with people and check they’re OK.  Do they need groceries? Medications?  A chat?  Help if it’s safe to do so, otherwise get someone else to help. Discourage hoarding of anything.  Try to lift people’s spirits - wave as they pass. Thank medical personnel, first responders, transit workers, garbage collectors, grocery store and pharmacy personnel, the mail person, and others who daily risk their own lives and health. Comfort your children who might be afraid because everything is so different.  Play with them, they’ll be missing their friends. Share ideas (online) with others. 

You’re probably doing these sorts of things already.  Do you do them realising that this is Stewardship, doing God’s work in the world?

‘Manage your fear and practice gratitude.’  (Rick Hanson March 31, 2020)  

Good Friday is always followed by Easter Sunday.  Resurrection is a reality!   Val McCormack