(1 Corinthians 3:6, CEB)
I was riding my bike on Jefferson River Road. About halfway up the hill, I started breathing like a freight train and caught a mouthful of bugs – they may be good protein, but have quite a nasty taste. Turning my head to the side to avoid taking in more insects, I spied a sign on a fence, “Stewardship Forest.” As I pedaled away, I wondered what those words meant because there was no forest anywhere near the fence, not even a tree. Still, we pastor’s see the word “stewardship” and perk right up.
The USDA Forestry Service says Stewardship Forest plans lay out strategies for achieving unique landowner objectives for sustaining forest health and vigor. Actively managed forests provide habitat, watershed protection and many other benefits for society. Planning and managing forests, greatly increases the likelihood that the forests will remain intact, productive and healthy so that the lands will be sustained for future generations. (http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/fsp.shtml)
It occurred to me that the church is a kind of “Stewardship Forest.” Jesus was always talking about sowing seeds and planting. Later on, the Apostle Paul would say, “I planted, Apollos, watered but God made it grow.” We have been given a unique objective by our “Divine Landowner” to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Well managed and supported churches provide spiritual habitat and life-changing protection. Intentional and careful planning increases the likelihood our Princeton “Stewardship Forest” will remain intact, productive and spiritually healthy for future generations. With faithfuls stewards who take seriously our calling to sow, water and plant there is no end to the increase God will give.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for our church and those who planted, sowed and watered it for us to have today. Help us to be good stewards of all you have entrusted to us. In Jesus Christ. Amen.
In His Word,
Reverend Dee Dee