For a little over a year, our family has lived in the church parsonage. Although it took some getting used to, we have very much enjoyed it. There is much I could tell you about parsonage life, but I will limit myself to one lesson that has come by way of this unique living experience. Living in a parsonage has been a great reminder for my wife and I that everything we have is a gift from God. Over the last year, we have made this home “our home.” In every way, we treat it like it is ours, but technically Waverly C&MA church owns it, and ultimately, it’s God’s. We can’t claim any ownership rights over it and I am grateful for that.
As the Psalmist tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). This is a very sweeping statement. Every creature and every single thing is the Lord’s. I have heard it said before that there is not one square inch of creation that God doesn’t declare – mine! Even if my wife and I we were homeowners and had the paperwork to prove it, there is still a sense that we would be stewarding what is already on loan from God.
One takeaway lesson is that as Christians we need to hold things very loosely. Instead of clinging to what God has given us, we need to give liberally and bless others in accordance with how we have already been blessed by God. Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Of course, this stewardship includes everything we have been given (such as gifts and abilities), but going back to the parsonage illustration, our family now has a responsibility to use this house for the glory of God. Over the past year, we have had many people over to “our” house, which has been a lot of fun for us. It is our desire that this house will continue to be used for hospitality, and that we might increasingly be a blessing to those around us.
What has God given you? How are you using what’s in your hand for the good of those around you? For more on this read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.