A couple of my attorney friends have commented to me how busy their estate planning business has become lately. The COVID-19 crisis has touched enough people, or scared enough people, that they are assessing what happens to their stuff—their money, houses, and toys—should something happen to them. I have wondered, as well, whether my ducks are in a row or whether they are wandering around in places I no longer want them.
Truth be told, the coronavirus crisis is reminding us of what we already know. Someday we will not be here anymore. That thought is easier to deny when times are smooth, but this storm has reminded us that we don’t get as much control as we would like, and our final outcome is not in doubt. The truth of that is pushing us to think about what matters. In tough times our values center.
When thinking about the end we are naturally led to think about the now. What matters? How should our time be spent? With whom? What brings us joy? How can we help? How might we use our assets of talent and treasure? What are our responsibilities to our neighbors, and to those less fortunate? In our death how would we like to have used everything in our life? Friends, the word for all of this is STEWARDSHIP. Yes, that old familiar church word, stewardship.
For all you church leaders out there this is the time to talk stewardship, preach stewardship, and teach stewardship. What topic could be timelier than a good sermon series on remembering the values that matter, and building one’s life around them? What could be timelier than some teaching about why we need good financial practices personally, and how they create opportunities for generosity socially. What could be timelier than opening our children’s eyes to the inter-connectedness of the world and the responsibilities that lay on each, and all of us? The possibilities for stewardship learning are abundant.
God didn’t bring the crisis, but God is giving us the chance to use the crisis to examine our lives in the light of the gospel—and the resurrection. Use this time—and go ahead and use the word: Stewardship.