In Jesus’s ministry he was criticized for spending time with sinners and outcasts (Matthew 9:10-11; Mark 2:15-17; Luke 5:29-32, 15:1-2). His response to the Pharisees’ criticism was to contrast their legalistic “sacrifices" with the sacrifice that is pleasing to God, echoing the prophet Hosea and others. Hosea 6:6 “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” Matthew 9:13: “[Jesus said] Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.”
In Genesis chapter 1 we are told, " In the beginning God created the heaven and earth and everything in it." It is God’s. He created and owns it. He created Adam and Eve and put them in the garden of Eden and gave them dominion over it. He entrusted the creation to them. In the Old Testament, a steward is one who oversees and distributes the master’s possessions. Joseph is an example of a steward, overseeing his Egyptian master’s household. We are likewise called to be stewards of God’s riches. Genesis 39:3-4 “His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hands. So Joseph found favor in his sight and attended him; he made him overseer of his house and put him in charge of all that he had.” 1 Corinthians 4:1 “Think of us this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries.”
The Old Testament includes stories of God calling to his people, such as Isaiah’s vision to go prophesy to the people: Isaiah 6:8 "Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? and who will go for us?’ and I said "’Here I am, Lord, send me.’”
We think of Stewardship as something that happens in the fall. But stewardship is a lifestyle. In the fall, as things begin anew after summer, we have our stewardship campaign, we take stock, how are we doing? Do we need to change our lifestyle? Go another direction?