Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. - 1 Peter 4:10

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter, the first leader of the post-Ascension church, offers a word of exhortation to his community that echoes across time and space. Use whatever gift you have received in service of others. In this way we are counted as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. Grace is gift and gift is grace, all from God and taking a variety of forms, and meant not just for ourselves but for the benefit of others.

Stewards are not owners, but servants and managers of the property of another, and Peter tells us that proper management of God’s property means that we deploy those graces for God’s purpose which here is identified as serving others. It may have been harvest time and time for the first stewardship campaign of the early church.

For almost 2000 years, the faithful have been exhorted to share whatever gift they have received for the work of the church in serving others. Those others are fellow church members, those not yet in the church, and those who may not come to know the Lord in this lifetime.

I am grateful that we have a highly faithful congregation. All in their own way, as circumstances some times dictate, are using the gifts entrusted to them by God for serving others. For some, it is their time that they generously give to the church. For others, a special gift of talent is used to bless the church’s mission. And for others still, it is through generous financial gifts that they express their faithfulness. These forms of stewardship are, of course, not exclusive and those who are faithful stewards are typically generous with their time, talent, and treasure. Is there anything more Christlike than that? God, through Christ, gave his very best and gave his all to serve others.

Thank you for being Good Shepherds of the gifts you have received and for the gift of time, talent, and treasure you will pledge to the church for its mission in 2020. Please know that your generosity is being matched by the generosity of many, many others who make this a special place in which to serve and to worship. You make St Peter smile. May you know his joy and the joy of our Lord who says to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Grace and peace, Fr Bill+