The following was written for the May 2015 edition of Christ the King's newsletter.
Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ,
Did you know that there is a castle at Christ the King? If you take a look in our narthex, you will find a castle that has been handmade by the students of the Blessed Beginnings Preschool. This one of a kind castle is made out of such things as egg cartons, paper towel tubes, and pipe cleaners, and it is a great creation.
What’s really great about the castle, is that the students did it cooperatively and without the help of their teachers, on a special day called, “Work Together Wednesday.” While I’m sure the students got a lot out of the experience and had a great time, “working together,” this lesson is really for adults, and it is a lesson in STEWARDSHIP!
The first point of this lesson, is that we have been given what we need to accomplish the task at hand, more specifically in our case, the work of God. The students weren’t given a fancy Lego set, they just had an abundance of things that usually fill up our trash and recycling bins. They could have pleaded or begged the teachers to give them different or better materials, or they could have sat around and complained to each other that they didn’t have enough, but instead, they joyfully went about their task with what they had.
God has given us enough, an abundance even, to commence taking up the mission or task God has given us to do. This is simply using the lives that we have, to share the loving gift of each day with each other, in a world of fellowship and plenty for all. Carrying out God’s mission is our joyful, everyday duty, and if we have breath, we have enough.
The second point of this lesson, is that we are called to do this work together. It wasn’t “see who can make the best castle Wednesday” it was “Work together Wednesday.” In order to work together, the students had to be in constant communication together. Imagine if one or two students decided to take over the whole project, the other kids would have found other things to do. Or if one or two four-year olds decided to throw a temper tantrum, the cardboard tubes would have been no match for a child that decided if they couldn’t have their way, no one could. This task depended on the efforts and voices of all children, their ability to share the work, and the humility to share in a communal vision.
God calls us to work together. The process of working, sharing, and learning to communicate culminates in something that has been created by many hands, together in One Spirit. Carrying out God’s mission requires being stewards of the vision and work that we have been given, and a commitment to the sacred space where we are called into an ever greater spirit of humility and not accomplishment.
The third point of this lesson is that the fruits of our work, are there to remind us of the joy, fellowship, and love we share together, and encourage us to continue in that Spirit. The castle that the children put together is really great, but the image it gives us into the work that they engaged in is the real treasure. Great works of art are nice to look at, but they come alive and truly magnificent when we hear the story, sentiment, and spirit that went into making them. The castle is a great work of art, and that time the children spent working on it is truly a priceless gift to both them and us.
God calls us to stewardship not as a way to build great things, but in order to grow in our trust and relationship with God, and to be reminded of all that God has done for us and for all people. When we give our money, our time, our commitment, our spirit, and our lives over to the church, it helps us to realize the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, that is alive in us and is given to us so that we may know joy. This joy is the joy of being alive, the joy of working together, the joy of the creation that God has given to us, and especially the joy of the love that Jesus has for each of us, the joy that called him to the humility of the cross. As stewards of God, may we continue to grow in our humility, so that we may experience the joy of God’s loving presence, and tell the story of God’s saving love.
Thank you to Blessed Beginnings Preschool, and its dedicated teachers, board, and volunteers, for sharing such valuable lessons with us all.