The word steward has been in my consciousness these past weeks.I feel every human being is in some way responsible for each other,our environment and the legacy we leave behind.Sometimes it takes reflection on the closing out of one year and the beginning of another to drive home the importance of giving of ourselves and being mindful of others.December is that time when most of us come alive as we celebrate the joys of the christmas season.I often wonder why the joy de vire we experience at this time doesn’t last throughout the year.
I take the word steward to mean responsibility.Among the many definitions I came across I chose these.A person who manages another’s property or financial affairs; one who administers anything as the agent of another or others.A person who has charge of the household of another, buying or obtaining food, directing the servants.A person appointed by an organization or group to supervise the affairs of that group at certain functions.The underlying thread running through every one of these definitions is in the serving of others.To some degree we are servants to each other in various ways.Some more so than others,It’s this giving that connects us and give our lives meaning.Sometimes we don’t realise the great responsibility, of ownership,that is required of us as fellow human beings .
I look around at our societies today.Every nation and country is besieged by a host of problems.I wonder if we have tried hard enough to help each other.I look at the disenfranchised in society, I look at those sitting on the sidelines their hope waning with each passing hour .Those who can’t help themselves, defenceless denizens, lost citizens in a sea of humanity.Much has been done, but if we are stewards of each other we can never stop doing.If people basic needs for food, shelter and clothing are met they can cope with life.
The plight of Haiti and the worlds poor especially hurting children, is particularly burdensome.Early this year Tuesday January 12th 2010, Haiti was devastated by a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake.What a year it has been for this small country and its people.Even now they are undergoing much pain, heartbreak and suffering from a cholera outbreak.A direct result of the progression of events from January 12th.
So what does the Bible have to say about being good stewards?
I chose two passages, Acts 20:35 reads “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
1 John 3:16-18 states “16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” I feel these scriptures are self explanatory and do bear witness to the roles of stewards.
To all those who have tried to make life easier for someone else I salute you.Good stewardship is part of the human condition.The say charity starts at home, so we don’t always have to look abroad to help.There is someone in our community who is waiting for you to show up today.Sometimes a genuine smile warms the bleakest of hearts.