Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Stewardship
Luke 19:11-27
13 He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds,[a] and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’
The events and teachings of Jesus as recorded in St. Luke 19 should be studied under the title “Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem.” Chapter 19:1-10 reveals the truth that God’s salvation is to those who accept Jesus to his house/life as Zacchaeus did. The immediate context of Jesus’ saying the parable of ten minas (ten pounds or gold coins in other translations) is to correct the peoples’ misunderstanding that Jesus is entering into Jerusalem to become the king of Jews by destroying or defeating the Roman Empire. Based on the main theme: Stewardship: Transparency and Accountability, let us meditate on two main points.
1.    Faith and love of God on us
In creating human beings in His own image and likeness, God wanted us to be His ambassadors in this world (Gen.1:26ff). God has placed us in this world to cultivate it and guard it (Genesis 2:15). Therefore we are His stewards. This also points to the reality that our attitude towards nature or universe should be as that of God. God has entrusted this stewardship on us because he loves us and also has faith in us. The parable of ten minas also speaks about God’s trust and faith on us. Here the noble man goes to a far country to come back as king and set up his kingdom. In those days, it was normal that royal men travel to distant place especially to Rome to receive the emperor’s official appointment as a ruler of any particular place. Before his travel he distributes one mina each to his ten servants. One mina in those days was equal of three month’s wages for a common man. He says “Put this money to work until I come back.” What God has with himself, he has given to us just as this man who gave ‘mina’ to his servants. Giving one gold coins to each of his servants reveals that in God’s sight everyone is equal and there is no insignificant or more significant. In St. Mathew 25:14-30, each servant receives a different number of talents (five, two, and one).  The desire of this noble man is that his servants should explore all the possibilities and to labor/trade with this given coin. 
2.    In God’s world we are accountable 
We are accountable to what God has entrusted to us. After coming back as the King, he calls his servants and ask them to give the accounts. This points to the truth that on Jesus’ coming again we have to give the accounts of the various responsibilities he has entrusted to each one of us. The return of this noble man as the king with authority also point to the return of Son of God with authority. The King rewards each according to their faithfulness. To those who were faithful he entrusts more responsibilities but to the one who hides the mina in a handkerchief, he says, “You bad servant….” This servant was extra conscious that he is not losing this mina given to him by his master who according to him is an austere man. The problem with this servant was that he never wanted to make use of the opportunities or the possibilities before him. He was lazy. He never even attempted to earn more. He was afraid of his Master and was not willing to take any risk. Master is cruel to him because of his laziness and his unwillingness to make any attempt. Master would not be cruel to this servant even if his trade would have been a failure. 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this parable speaks about God’s love and faith on us as he has entrusted his all (universe) to us. We are being called to be faithful stewards. On Jesus’ coming again he will rewards everyone according to our faithfulness to the responsibilities he has entrusted to us. 
 PRAYER
Lord God give us your heart and your spirit that we may truly represent you in Your world.  Amen
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
As each one has received a gift, minister it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Peter 4:10).
Rev. Shinoi Joseph, Thalavoor Naduthery MTC