Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Stewards of God's Grace

"When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him." - John 2:10-11
As noted in my earlier post, when calamity strikes, it is often difficult to respond at all, much less respond helpfully. Couple that with the miracle at the wedding at Cana that is the Gospel reading for this past Sunday, and you have celebration colliding with calamity.

Beyond asking the question "Where is God in all of this?" (which is addressed in the video in the previous post) we hopefully move to the question "Where does God want me to be in all of this?" There are a variety of answers to that question. In the short term, the answer is to give money that can both be transmitted quickly and can support the local economy rather than collecting food, water, and other necessities and shipping them there. It may not be as personally satisfying for us to click a "donate" button or write a check, but this isn't really about us anyway.

In the longer term, it is worth thinking about what sort of long-term "partnership with providence" we might direct towards Haiti. In other words, what is God already doing and planning to do there and how might we most effectively partner with God in that effort? The fact is that we are merely stewards of divine wine--beverage of the Heavenly Banquet. We neither purchase nor create the wine of God's blessings, we simply convey it to those who need to "taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psalm 34:8). The wonderful thing is that this tasting and seeing is not limited to those in extreme physical need. We need to taste that Kingdom wine, that celebration in the midst of calamity, as much as anyone else does. It is in being stewards, being purveyors of God's grace and mercy, that we know ourselves to be both blessed and a blessing to others.

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