Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Stewardship - Final - The Larger Picture

Did you know that the words ecumenical, economics, and ecology all share the same root word? “Ecu” and “eco” comes from the Greek word oikos (pronounced oy’-kos) – a word that translates as house. Oikos is used throughout the New Testament to talk about the church community, a family, a family’s house, an animals’ dwelling place, and “the whole inhabited world.”  Economics (oikonomia) refers to “plan/rules for the household,” ecology deals with the “knowledge of the household,” and ecumenical (oikoumene) has to do with everyone/thing that lives in the household. Now, if you’re not tired of seeing all of these homey Greek words, here’s one more: oikonomos – a word that translates as “keeper of the household” or as the English word “steward.”
 
When we start looking at “household” on a community or even planetary scale, the notion of being a household-keeper can be daunting. When we add to this the fact that as Christians we believe that this creation-encompassing household belongs solely to God (see this week’s reading from Psalm 24), then the call to be stewards can be extremely daunting. 
 
While stewardship is a huge responsibility, Ephesians reminds us that our work is part of God’s larger economy” (Eph. 1:10), God's "plan for the household" is to gather up all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.

We're not called to invent this economy or even run it.  We're simply, lovelingly invited to contribute our God-given talents - those places of embodied grace within our lives - to help unveil God's economy of grace for all.

I'm indebted to Tanya Barnett and Tom Wilson for their weekly stewardship reflections