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 We profess that it all belongs to God and we are just the caretakers.  And yet instead of seeing what the best use is for what we have and how it can benefit the most people, we hang on as if it really belongs to us,


Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
February 20, 2006

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Good stewardship means letting go

I have been thinking a lot about what we hold on to and what we trust to let go of.

They say that Thomas Jefferson freed his slaves in his last will and testament.  This is the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence.  He was part of a group of men who considered themselves philosophers.  He was a man who thought deeply about what he did and why.

Jefferson  believed that all men are created equal.  He lived with purpose and let his beliefs motivate his actions.  And yet he freed his slaves only in his will.

Did he worry that only he could care for them properly?  Did he think the next generation who inherited them would not do such a good job?  Did he think that while he was alive he could take better care of them than they could themselves? Or better care of them than God would if he freed them to their own devices and God's care?

I have to wonder what good these people could have done if they had been free.

We don't own slaves in this generation.  And yet we hold on to control of things that we don't need to. Some of us  hold on to money and possessions far beyond what we need for ourselves and will ever spend. And then we leave them in our wills. 

We profess that it all belongs to God and we are just the caretakers.  And yet instead of seeing what the best use is for what we have and how it can benefit the most people, we hang on as if it really belongs to us, as if only we could best utilize it, while in truth no one is benefiting and none of it is being used for any good purpose.

If we are really a people who live what we believe then we will all sit down with someone who can help us understand what we need for our own care, and then we will find ways to use the rest for God's purposes ad God intended.

I met a man at a stewardship seminar who helps people who know they have more than they need for the lives they are living.  He helps them to come to terms with the abundance and to share it wisely.  He forms groups of people in a similar situation and they call each other to account and share what they have learned about living and giving.

Perhaps it is time for us to really be good stewards even if that means letting go of what we do not need.  We can find a purpose for what we will never use and incredible things can be done with what we now hold on to.

Lord,
Give us the faith to live what we believe and to let go of what we do not need so that your will might be done on this earth. 
Amen

 


 
Copyright (c) 2006, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at mspastor@aol.com.
 

The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI.  A lifelong Lutheran, she came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric intensive care.  She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 years in Upstate New York before becoming a New Englander.  She is still trying to understand the accent.  While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship Team.  That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more, what makes for generosity. She has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of life she learned from them.