As I concentrate on the Gospel of Luke, the theme of stewardship continues to impress upon my mind. It seems that most of Christ’s parables deal with stewardship in one way or another—the care we have been given of our fellow man. Given the purpose of our existence, if we do not love God and neighbor, whatever else we do will be of little eternal consequence1.
It is easy to concentrate on the management of our own material things because the consequences of those choices come quickly. If we are late paying a bill, it isn’t long before we are reminded of our transgression. Friendly reminders come first, but the urgency increases with each message that follows, until the reminders are no longer friendly. Penalties and punishments follow if we continue to ignore the messages.
On the other hand, if we neglect the spiritual stewardship of the Lord’s goods He does not pester us. We might be in a position to help someone and choose to ignore the prompting. Nothing happens. The Spirit may prick our conscience, but we otherwise go about our business.
I think about the publicans and sinners who were crying out for a Shepherd. I can imagine how they felt when He found them and fed them. The love He showed them was real. He wanted them back, just as He wants us back. We are charged to help with the search for lost sheep if we have ears to hear His message.
The parable of the sower says we are soil for the planting of seed. Some take the word of God and produce an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirtyfold. I have doubtfully wondered if I am found in that productive group. What is the crop? Is it prodigal sons and daughters? What is my level of increase? When the Master comes, will he find me productive, or will He find my talent fearfully wrapped in a napkin? My own sense of urgency tells me I need to get busy.
We don’t know when the Lord will come, but “blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing”. I have been thinking about my blessings and how I might lighten the burdens of others. Thinking is good. Doing is better. Love is a verb.