Welcome to the Sunday Devotion. As a church, we have various seasons we celebrate which cause us to focus our gaze in a certain direction and spend time in meaningful reflection and preparation. Advent and Lent are 2 of the most widely known. In Community of Christ we also recognize the Season of Generosity. This is a period set aside to recognize the grace of God and to discover a deeper joy in discipleship through intentional whole-life stewardship. What does whole-life stewardship mean?
A steward is really a “manager.” So we could say that in whole-life stewardship we manage God's resources God's way because of God's love. Many times our thoughts automatically go to giving 10% of our money. But in whole-life stewardship we manage, i.e., take care of, 100% of everything God gives us. As stewards, we are tasked to look after the world for God. We must look after the interests of the planet and all life on it.
In making this part of your spiritual journey, how do you view the generosity of God? One way to meditate on the beauty of the earth is to find videos such as https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyZMCd6nS0Q
But there is more to the whole-life stewardship. As we gaze and meditate on the powerful beauty of God’s creation, we must also be thankful for God’s generosity in all that is provided to us.
Think about all the blessings you see around you in God’s world. Around me I also see food, shelter, people of compassion, unique gifts and talents of others, the blessings of a diverse community, and a desire to make a difference.
We are so blessed by the generosity of God in all things and there are things we can do in sharing the responsibility to protect and nourish all those parts of God’s world. It is in the responsibility to protect and nourish that we live the life of the disciple, sharing the message of God’s love not just through words, but also through action. In 1 John 3:17 we are told, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” I challenge you to find ways to make a difference. What programs offer compassionate assistance to others in your community? In the DC area, we have the upcoming Winter Warmth https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/SQPKJWN5BXQ?ref_=wl_share
where Friendship Place sponsors a program to offer coats, hats, and gloves to those in need. There are also special programs in 46 of the states and Washington, DC, that offer a weekend food backpack program providing food to children experiencing food insecurity. (see https://www.blessingsinabackpack.org/)
Make a difference. Respond to the generosity of God by responding generously yourself. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
What will you do?
(Author: Bonnie Barber)
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Various authors throughout the Chesapeake Bay Mission Center and beyond provide these thought-provoking weekly devotions.