"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it"
- Psalm 24:1
As we enter Stewardship season this year, we ought to first take a step back and think about what it all means. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word stewardship as, "the conducting, supervising, or managing of something, especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care." So stewardship is about being a good "steward" of something that we have been entrusted with.
The psalmist proclaims that the earth and everything in it is God's, and we believe that God has entrusted us with the earth. It's quite a task then to try and be good stewards of everything! I think there are many ways that we can be "good stewards", but I think taking care of the earth - that is, the environment - is right up there towards the top. God says to Moses that, "The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers," (Leviticus 25: 23) and the word of God was revealed to Ezekiel, saying, "Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet?" (Ezekiel 34:18). Some heavy stuff there! How can we be "foreigners" and "strangers" in what we call "our planet" or "our country"? And it's hard to argue with the sentiment from Ezekiel. I'm reminded of rivers that have caught on fire because of all the pollutants emptied into them by nearby factories.
As we begin to discern how we will manage our time, talents, and treasures this Stewardship season, I think it's a great time to think not just about finances but also about all the ways in which we can truly live as good Christian stewards of everything. How do your spending habits impact the earth? How do your daily routines have an impact on your time? Are there ways in which we can make small changes in our lives that will lead towards improvements somewhere else?