The good book is finally back on the shelf. Many years ago, when I was ordained by Bishop Hodapp, I received my ordination Bible, signed by the bishop himself. As with a lot of keepsakes, I seldom used it, but always kept it on the shelf. That Bible was a symbol of my call and commitment to the church.
I changed appointments and moved in 2010. After the last box was unpacked there was no Bible. Needless to say, it isn’t good form for a pastor to lose the Word of God. However, amid the flurry of packing and the giving away several other books, I assumed it had landed in a library or on a shelf at Goodwill.
Twelve years later, while talking with the pastor who had succeeded me at that appointment, he told me that he had my ordination Bible. For years it continued in his office, and he kept forgetting to call me or bring it to annual conference, where we saw each other every year. Now that he was retired, he was able to find me one day and hand it back. As you might guess, the joy of finding the Word eclipsed the grief of losing it.
Sometimes we lose things in the hustle and bustle of life. In many instances it is no big deal. However, we dare not lose our connection to the Word of God, or to the God of the Word. Stewardship is the act of taking care of our hustle such that the wisdom of God is always near. When we live as if our abilities, time, and possessions are apart from God we are soon headed for disaster. Letting God touch our talents, moments, and money is to find purpose in this life and the joy that comes with it. Stewardship is never having the wisdom of God far from our everyday living in this world, then applying it liberally.
I hope you never lose the Word of God in your life, but if you do, give me a call. I just might have a copy I would lend you until you get yours back.
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Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana