Rev. Paul Rieger - Associate Pastor - Trinity Lutheran Church
November has come and with it brings cold weather, Thanksgiving, and Trinity’s stewardship focus. I am truly excited about stewardship this year because we will be visited by sons from our congregation who has moved into the office of Holy Ministry. This month we will have the Reverend Richard Kelm, the Reverend Mark Schulz, and the Reverend Jon Niebuhr leading us in our understanding of how God wants us to use our time, treasures, and talents. I’m especially pleased that our church does not simply focus on finances, but we also make an effort to be good stewards of what God has given us in our abilities and our time here.
What I think we also need to focus on is being thankful. Stewardship should always be motivated by our thankfulness and our understanding of God’s grace. We know our state as sinners is deep; we sin often in what we say, think, and do. God knows this too and has given us away out through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Through Jesus we are made new, and in our baptisms we are blessed by the Holy Spirit, and through the Holy Spirit we bear fruits of good works.
It is important to understand that stewardship is a continuation of our lives as those redeemed by Christ. We have the seeds of faith planted in our hearts, and we grow to mature plants specifically to bear fruit. Stewardship is bearing fruit by using our gifts to serve and do good. But constantly in my mind as I think of stewardship is our act of being thankful, which I think is appropriate as we celebrate Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks. Psalm 107:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, and his mercy endures forever.” God’s mercy and goodness are the gifts He gives us, gifts that are things to be thankful for.
As you consider your stewardship this month, consider also how you are thanking God for what He gives you. I am thankful for God giving me my talents, treasures, and time, and I plan to use them to serve my wife, my people at Trinity, and all those whom God has placed around me as a thankful response to what God does for me.