This is a ‘Stewardship Sunday’ of sorts, because Matthew 25 is a scripture about slaves/servants, who are entrusted to manage the property of their master, how they do so, and their reward.
As a Millennial, I have heard us criticized for not being involved in organizations or institutions. I have had conversations with persons of previous generations about possible reasons for this.
One reason is that Millennials expect a return on our investment, which may sound selfish until it is explored a little deeper. When a millennial invests our time, energy, and resources, we expect a return on investment but it does not necessarily benefit the individual personally.
For example, I know GenX and Millennial persons who are involved in service organizations but these organizations are seemingly not fulfilling their missions. The GenX and Millennial persons struggle with their investment of time and energy in meetings, as well as their investment of financial resources in dues, without bearing witness to a return on said investments, not personally but to the community. This is similar to the slave/servant with one talent, who hides it and thus no return on investment.
Ourselves, the entire creation, all that is tangible and intangible, our time, our energy, our talents, our resources (financial and otherwise), and EVERYTHING was given by God for us to manage, or steward.
Thus, the questions become:
- How are we stewarding, or managing, these gifts entrusted to us?
- Do we hoard our time, energy, and resources for ourselves in self-indulgence?
- How do we use our time, energy, and resources?
Do we engage in ‘keeping up with the Jones’?
Do we engage in the game ‘He who dies with the most toys, wins’?
Do we share for the sake of the Kingdom of God to Come?
In Baptism, we commit to seeking justice, acting with compassion and mercy, while loving and serving all people but especially the most vulnerable. The scriptures instruct that this includes sheltering the homeless poor, clothing the naked, and feeding the hungry.
Therefore, we must ask ourselves:
Are we hoarding, hiding, or burying our time, energy, and resources?
Or, are we managing well and sharing our time, energy, and resources?
If we share these our time, energy, and resources, the two becomes four and the five become ten. Thus, we are able to witness the blessing of God manifold.
We welcomed Lutheran Child and Family Services this morning.
We have a history of supporting the Wernle Home.
These are causes, outside of our walls, that engage in the work of the Kingdom.
These are service organizations that use their time, energy, resources and those gathered from the community for a return on investment that is greater than themselves.
These service organizations practice stewardship and our shared, God given, Christian vocation.
It doesn’t matter how little or how much time, energy, and resources (financial or otherwise) one has to share, but when used for the sake of the Kingdom of God to Come on earth, we are guaranteed a return on our investment. And for that, thanks be to God. Amen.
Scripture was Matthew 25: 14-30.
Originally preached 15 Nov. 2020 at Trinity Lutheran (Union City, Indiana).