Lutheran Witness: February 2014

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From the editor

The words stewardship and fundraising strike fear and terror in our hearts. They shouldn’t. After all, the money isn’t ours. It’s not even the bank’s money or the lender’s or your money, even if it is stuffed under the mattress in your bedroom.

The money is the Lord’s, and He compels you to give it to His work cheerfully and generously. But He’s also given you something even more important than time, talent and treasure. He’s given you His Son, and with His Son, you’ve been blessed to be on the receiving end of His work on the cross, His gifts of Gospel and Sacrament, His forgiveness.

Within these pages, you’ll learn to look at stewardship in a new way. Young adults will learn from the Rev. Philip Zielinski how to give to their Savior’s work without having to wait to be a grown-up or get a “real” job. Montana District President Terry Forke challenges our current understanding of stewardship, explaining instead that the gift God has actually given us to manage and invest is His Son’s Gospel.

The Rev. Heath Curtis reminds us that “Christian stewardship is the free and joyous activity of the child of God and God’s family, the Church, in managing all of life and life’s resources for God’s purposes” while the Rev. Jason Braaten lends some practical advice on how to consider your giving in the past and what made need to be changed in the future.

“We often think of stewardship as a necessary evil,” the Rev. Nathan Meador tells us, “but Christ as actually set you free to give.” Understanding this, you help your children find joy in giving, even as Rev. Jonathan Connor encourages you as parents or pastors or teachers to pray to our heavenly Father for the ability to do so.

Still not convinced? Check out the Rev. Paul’s Cain explanation of Second Corinthians 8 and 9, which have much to say about the gifts God has to give us so that we may, in turn, give to His work in this world.

Then check out the way in which the Rev. Mark Surburg debunks the myth that pastors shouldn’t preach about stewardship, using words of St. Paul as evidence. Finish out this issue with the Rev. Jonathan Rusnak, who offers a helpful Bible study, featuring some mistakes made by King David, that teaches us about the faithful use of God’s temporal blessings.

Money shouldn’t scare us. Giving shouldn’t be frightening. The Lord has already given us much. In fact, He’s given us His Gospel and all we need to support this body and life, no terror required.

Adriane Heins, Managing Editor
The Lutheran Witness
adriane.heins@lcms.org

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