Insights into Stewardship

Apportioned to Others with Great Joy

“The people went to … send portions to others & celebrate with great joy”

Nehemiah 8:12

Soon will arrive the Festival of Thanksgiving. Doesn’t the above verse describe well what we will be doing? The entire passage reads: “All the people went to eat and drink and to send portions to others and to celebrate with great joy.” Certainly all Americans will soon eat much and drink all manner of tasty drinks (and God grant: not at all to excess). We will share freely with others and celebrate Thanksgiving with great joy.

Why? – Well, for most Americans, this is simply what we traditionally do. Further, most Americans probably have a fair sense that there is some God who has been awfully good to most of us. People have a natural need to demonstrate their gratitude somehow.

The folks in Nehemiah’s day had better knowledge and better reason. The Lord, the true God, had restored them away from exile to the land He had promised them. This God was still promising to bring a Messiah from there and from them. Nehemiah had just arranged for them to hear the Hebrew Word of the Lord and to receive explanation in their now native Aramaic. So, they celebrated with delight!

Isn’t that a perfect pattern for us American Christians? The Lord, the true God, has brought us his Messiah. He will surely make good on his promise to bring us to promised paradise. We have ears to hear God’s Word, eyes to understand it—and plenty of resources to celebrate.

So, let’s celebrate Thanksgiving with gusto! Let’s be openhanded in sharing with others around us. More, isn’t it most necessary for us generously to provide for others to hear what we have heard, to know what we affirm, and to trust Him who has given us all things—and by his blood: dominion forever?!