by Tom Conrad
November 10, 2019
Good morning! My name is Tom Conrad. Many of you only know me as Kia’s husband but that’s OK, that’s how I think of myself a lot of the time. I am a member of Trinity’s Planning Council and, on Global Worship Sundays like today, I am the second-chair percussionist.
I am up here this morning because Mike Byrne, the head of our stewardship campaign, asked me to do this Temple talk as part of a series of talks leading up to Commitment Sunday next week. Mike gave me this advice, “The most effective message is a testimonial—not a talk about balancing our budget, rising church expenses, etc.” He said, “We want to convey HOW our mission of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ is changing people’s lives for the better.”
I thought, “I can do that!”
Mike also told me he had said the same thing to Dale Sorenson who spoke to us last week, and right now, I kind of hope you missed Dale’s talk, because it was wonderful and he is going to be a hard act to follow. But here goes… I’m going to tell you what I find Stewardship means to me.
So, I’ll start with a quote I found from C.S Lewis, the lay theologian and the author of the Chronicles of Narnia. Here’s what he said about Stewardship:
“Every faculty you have, your power of thinking … or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not, in a sense, His own already.”
So, that is where it begins. God owns everything. In the beginning, in the book of Genesis, God creates everything and puts Adam and Eve in the Garden to work it, and to take care of it. As Pastor Andy is about to remind us before communion today, this is not Trinity’s table, this is God’s table and all are welcome to the feast.
Secondly, God has graciously entrusted us with everything we have and everything we are and it is our responsibility to care for all these gifts while we are here. Not to use them as we see fit but to tend them and use them for His purposes, not ours. Remember, we are only stewards. And we will each be called someday to give an account of how we have managed what has been entrusted to our care.
Like the servants in the parable of the bags of gold, we should all long to hear our master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”
So, there you have it. When we consider our possessions and the gifts we have been given, remember that we are only caring for these things for a short while. Make the most of them, for God’s sake.