Pentecost Sunday is always an interesting day, if for no other reason than it’s always interesting to see how God wants us to celebrate and remember it. In past years, we’ve had people read Scripture in various languages, or provided sound effects of a rushing wind, or Sara even let me set her hair on fire one time.
Okay, I made up that last one.
Point is, how do you celebrate something so formative in the history of the church? Do you try to recreate its elements more artificially? That doesn’t seem right to do. So do you try to simply appreciate and emphasize the narrative details? That doesn’t seem like quite enough to do.
So I’ve always been a fan of trying to remind people about the core elements of why that day was so important, and why it should be formative for everything that we do as a church still today.
For instance, we’ve talked about the power of the Holy Spirit and how we too often limit or remain ignorant of that power in our own lives and ministries today. Or we’ve presented the moment in history from the viewpoint of those watching from the outside that day and why this drew them in so profoundly. Or we’ve exegeted Peter’s amazing sermon and how he interwove Biblical history with the straightforward truth of Christ’s life and death. Or we’ve reminded ourselves of why exactly it was that three thousand people came to know the Lord that day and recommitted ourselves to living out the sort of Kingdom-building power that God was gifting us with on that first Pentecost morning.
So this year, we built on the series we just finished, arguing that all of the “reasons we exist as a church” that we can imagine mean less than nothing if we don’t have the stewardship to actively and consciously live those out in our lives today. Because stewardship, at its core, isn’t about money or giving more to the church--it’s about reminding ourselves that everything in this world, everything in our lives, rightly belongs to God... which means that everything we enjoy on a daily basis is a gift that God has given us, along with the right and privilege and responsibility to steward in ways that honor God’s heart for those gifts.
How do you spend your time? How do you spend your money? How do you treat your spouse? How do you manage your words or your actions or your bodies or your priorities? As if they belonged to you, or as if you were managing them on behalf of their true owner, whom you love and respect?
It’s easy to tell people, “Hey, give more money,” but that’s not a question of stewardship. It’s not a question of giving God more of your resources in this life--it’s a question of remembering that God has given you His resources for you to appreciate and steward in this life... and the proper mindsets that such a remembrance should engender in our everyday lives.
Don’t just give 10% of your money because some preacher told you to.
Give God the firstfruits of every part of your lives because it all belongs to God already... and He’s called you to be stewards over 100% of His gifts...