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Whose House is it?

Stewardship is a fundamental concept in the New Testament. It is not an idea that makes a lot of sense to us, so the word that is steward in Greek gets translated in all kinds of ways to get across to us what a steward was.  The title gets related mostly to bathrooms and wine cellars these days, but in the ancient world it was really the most important role in the house, after the master and family.

The steward was the head of the house, or the event like a wedding, who ran things in the place of the master, so the master could do other things. It was Joseph’s role in Potiphar’s house and under Pharaoh. It is my role at the church, and yours too.

You are a steward in God’s household. A steward takes care of the master’s things, manages his affairs, and represents the master when the master is not available directly.  You represent God in the name of Jesus. 

This House is your house too.  How are you going to help take care of it? 

In college I was taking a class in church finance, and I went to the new Phoenix Public Library down on Central Avenue to get a source for a paper.  I found a book called Stewardship by Peter Block, and I sat at a long table in the shafts of light in the upstairs stacks.  

The book had nothing to do with fundraising. It was a business book by a consultant that has becomes one of my top sources for how I envision my work as rector and my role in everything in life.

Peter Block makes the case that every member of the organization should have a stake in the purpose of the organization, and they should be empowered to enact that purpose to the greatest extent of their role.  

You are a vital member of Christ Church of the Ascension, and you are empowered by the Holy Spirit and gifted to the church with gifts and abilities and resources to grow this place.  But this place is not God’s purpose in the world.  It is a embassy of God’s reign, an outpost of his peace, justice, and love.  

God’s purpose is the redemption of the world through the cross of Jesus Christ, bringing us and all creation back to his will and our full status as his children for eternity.  

You are part of that work! You are part of God’s love for the world. Christ Church of the Ascension is our place to come to Know, Love, and Serve Christ together.  I know I can’t do it alone. We need each other.  We need each other’s resources and gifts and presence. 

Join us in this work.  We are doing God’s work; we are stewarding God’s House together. 

So, what can you do? Well, you can give and pledge your giving for the year ahead.  You can study with us to know God and his purpose revealed to us in the Bible, the church, and each other. You can join us in serving the world through generously supporting people and ministries in need.   

You are wanted here. You are important here. You belong in this House.

The Very Reverend Daniel P. Richards