From time to time someone we love dies.  After the first moments of shock, we think about a funeral or memorial service.  Families, bless them, tend to do that through the eyes not of themselves, but the ones they have loved.  “Let’s sing one of their favorite hymns.  Please read that part of the Bible she loved so much.  He was full of joy and life, so don’t make the service sad and depressing.  Let’s put the blue dress on her remains—it is old-fashioned but it was their favorite.  By all means let’s receive memorials and use them for the charities he cared about.”

In other words, because of our relationship with the person, the appropriate thing to do is to live out that person’s wishes.  That is how we honor them—by remembering and doing things that mattered to him or her.   We use our decisions to promote their values.  That, friends, is a form of stewardship—stewarding the gift of a relationship.

Perhaps that is a good analogy for our relationship with God.  Because we love God, we use our choices to create a world based on God’s wishes.  In so doing, we feel and maintain a kinship and living connection with God.  It isn’t that God was ever dead.  However, God is made alive to us, and to the world, when we live out the divine wishes and worldview.

God loves us—praise the Lord!  We love God.  Let us honor our God not just in shouts and songs, but in building a world that puts God’s desires in the center.  Not only will the world be a better place, we will be in a better place in our relationship with God.

Glenn HowellIf you want more ideas for stewardship and giving, whether pastor or lay person, contact us at your United Methodist Foundation here or by calling us toll free at 877-391-8811.

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Glenn Howell
Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana