Devotional for Sunday, June 24, 2012
Twilight: Stewards of God's Good Gifts
by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Peter's first epistle is addressed to "strangers in the world," who have their homeland in heaven. They are not surprised that they suffer when they do what is right. They follow the footprints of Jesus.
1 Peter 4:7–11
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received (1 Pet. 4:10, NRSV).
In the days of slavery, masters would often appoint a trusted slave as steward, or administrator. The steward was in charge of supplies and of feeding the household from the contents of the master's storeroom. Joseph had this responsibility in the house of Potiphar. He was a good and reliable steward (Gen. 39).
God's household is the church, and God's people live on the heavenly supplies in God's storehouse. These supplies consist of "manifold grace," "God's grace in its various forms." Each member of the household gets one or two gifts for which he or she must be a steward. In God's household no single person has access to all that is in God's storehouse. Rather each of us is a steward of our unique gifts.
The household of God does not live on one meal prepared for all by one master chef. God's household shares in a potluck supper, so to speak. Each member brings his or her particular gift for the benefit of all.
All of us have received a gift. But since we are stewards, these gifts are not our personal possessions. We are responsible to God for them. Like Joseph, we are good stewards only when others in the household of faith benefit from the gifts God has entrusted to us.