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Sabbath School

Deep Truths: The Marks of a Steward

This week I am going to write about the marks of stewards and stewardship, not in terms of tangible objects or possessions but in terms of the more important tasks, about which the possessions are only lesson books. There are many extraordinary examples of God’s stewards in the Bible. They have included those who are old, young, female, male, Hebrew, Canaanite, Roman, rulers, servants, and commonplace hosts.

The Eco-System and Stewardship

It has been almost ten years since Nicholas Carr posed the question, “Is Google Making Us Stoopid?” in the much talked about front cover of the Atlantic, (July, August 2008). This intriguing article was followed two years later with his book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains.  Maryanne Wolf endorsed Carr’s work with the following observation: “Ultimately, The Shallows is a book about the preservation of the human capacity for contemplation and wisdom, in an epoch where both appear increasingly threatened.

Get Lost

I gave my sister-in-law a scarf this Christmas—a beautiful silk scarf I had bought for her at Grace Cathedral: a print of the Rose Window, in deep blues and reds.

After she thanked me for it, she said, “Did I ever tell you about the time I was living near Sacramento and agreed to meet my sister at Grace Cathedral, so we could spend the day together? I got up very early in the morning, before sunrise, and went to the station to get the bus to San Francisco. I rode along sleepily in the dark for a while, but eventually the sun came up—and I realized that I had forgotten my glasses!”

I See, I Want, I Take – Materialism, Consumerism, God, and Discipleship

While this week’s Sabbath School lesson focuses on the what happens in terms of materialism and greed, particularly as it relates to a consumer view of God in the prosperity gospel, could it be that the I see, I want, I take attitude changes how we go about being a church community in even more subtle ways?

The Influence of Materialism

The biblical concept of stewardship, writes Charles E. Bradford, “is more than a narrow creedal statement. It is a dynamic principle under which the kingdom of God operates.”[1] The author for this week admonishes us not to be conformed to this world (Rom 12:2).

The Mystery of Balanced Christian Living

“You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Romans 14:10

Are You a Chameleon or a Caterpillar?

Romans 12 and 13 contain different counsels on how to put into practice the gospel of justification by faith (1:17) which, I believe, is the main thesis of the book of Romans. The fact that the apostle Paul inserted the concluding word, “therefore” indicates that he wanted his audience to respond to the preceding content of his message (1:18-11:36).

Children of the Promise

I used to have a large collection of stationary—notecards, notepaper—in all colors and weights.  Most of my friends have received letters or cards from me at some point in time.  It makes me feel closer to someone far away when I can sit down and write them a letter.  And in my mind it conveys a lot more than just a quick email or text message.

“No Condemnation” Has a Storyline

The best way to understand Romans 8:1–17 is through a storyline. Many, many words have been written to explain this wonderful story, but I will simply give you the outline of the plot for you to think about in the context of this week’s Sabbath School lesson.

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