Monday’s After Thoughts: 25 June 2018

 
 
 

Happy Monday Morning to you!

I hope this Monday finds you well and refreshed for this coming week ahead.

I wanted to continue with the stewardship theme today (and will do so for the next few weeks as a part of our Vestry goals regarding pledging). There are many passages of Scripture to talk about as it relates to stewardship and our participation in it. Today I wanted to take a look at the first part of the Book of Nehemiah.

There are many things about this book that intrigue me.

The person of Nehemiah.

The people of Israel that managed to survive the foreign powers to remain in the land and those who have come back to the land after its destruction.

The response of King Artaxerxes.

The response of the neighboring (but not neighborly) countries around Israel.

The ability of those in the land to work together to accomplish something wondeful.

The gist of the story surrounding this book is that Jerusalem is in disrepair after being mostly abandoned due to God’s children having been taken away. A report from Nehemiah’s brother reveals that the city of Jerusalem is in ruins.

The walls.

The gates.

The temple.

All of this greatly disturbs an exiled Nehemiah, who was the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes.

The Scriptures say he wept at the state of the city of God. He wore his sadness on his sleeve and the king notices. After a conversation about his sadness, the king allows him to go visit his beloved Jerusalem.

Nehemiah was bothered because of something that was representative of God was in shambles.

He felt like it gave God a bad name and that it reflected poorly on his people.

And he felt that he should do something about it.

His love for God drove him to take initiative.

But there were many things in his way.

His distance from Jerusalem.

It would cost him to travel.

The power of the king.

The king’s authority would determine whether or not anything could be done.

The people of God in the land.

Would they feel as motivated to take care of things as Nehemiah?

The enemies in the land.

Would they be a threat to the process?

The money, labor and supplies needed.

Was anyone willing to do what needed to be done.

The discouragement of such a large take.

The emotional fortitude to undertake such a great task and motivate others to do the same.

In the story, Nehemiah and the people of God in the land put Jerusalem back together (as well as get their faith practice back to where it needed to be). They took their responsibility of stewardship seriously.

The stewardship of their faith.

The stewardship of their time.

The stewardship of their land.

The stewardship of their personal resources.

The stewardship of their money.

 

And God rewarded them.

 

It is a reminder to us who participate in the ministries of Holy Trinity Church.

God has given us much that we are responsible to maintain and care for.

The church building.

The church grounds.

The necessities for keeping things going (water, electricity, gas, sewer, etc.).

The church rectory.

The ability to plan for all of the deferred maintenance that will arise.

The people who call Holy Trinity home.

The people who benefit from the many groups that use our space (NA, OA, etc.).

 

And there are many things that can get in the way to be able to do this.

Time.

Vision.

Motivation.

People.

Planning.

Resources.

Money.

Government.

 

My encouragement to all of us as we are thinking about pledging this year is to take a minute and pray for our participation in the stewardship of the things that God has entrusted to us.

How is it that God is asking me to participate with all that I have?

How do I need to step out in faith and past the barriers that keep me from giving generously to Holy Trinity?

What commitment am I willing to make as a part of the bigger plan here it Holy Trinity?

 

Blessings,

 

Brad+