SOURCE: "A Pastoral Letter to Pastors of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod From President Jerry Kieschnick"; July 22, 2008
KEYWORDS: stewardship, temporary, city of God,
Last month, I included a quote about biblical stewardship sent to me by Rev. Wayne Knolhoff, director of Stewardship Ministry with the Board for District and Congregational Services. Wayne also sent me a quote from Martin Luther's Commentary on Peter and Jude, edited and translated by John Nichols Lenker (Kregel Classics, 1990).
Luther writes: "Therefore we must use all these things upon earth in no other way than as a guest who travels through the land and comes to a hotel where he must lodge overnight. He takes only food and lodging from the host, and he says not that the property of the host belongs to him. Just so should we also treat our temporal possessions, as if they were not ours, and enjoy only so much of them as we need to nourish the body and then help our neighbors with the balance. Thus the life of the Christian is only a lodging for the night, since we have here no continuing city, but must journey on to heaven, where the Father is."
Wayne offers this vision for stewardship in the Synod: "The stewardship culture in every congregation would be one where all professional church workers as well as every man, woman, and child would know that they are God's steward by His grace, live as His disciples, and manage the gifts He entrusts to them with joy and generosity-all so His purposes would be accomplished and His mission enhanced."