Our God of Sharing

Date posted: Thursday 02 September 2021

Practicing StewardshipIn John 6, 5,000 people have gathered to hear Jesus teach and preach. They have been listening all day and they were getting hungry. The disciples were concerned that the people had nothing to eat. In an act of great generosity, a nameless boy stepped forward and said, “If anyone is hungry, I am happy to share with them my fish and bread.” Jesus took the boy's small act of sharing five loaves and two fish and turned this generosity into the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000.


Sharing is something we learn to do as children. No one likes the kid who would not share! They were selfish or greedy or mean. Instead, we were told by our parents and teachers to share our toys, our treats or our crayons. Why, then, can it be so hard for us to share when we get older? To share our money, our possessions, or our time?


Sharing begins with God. Everything we call our own really and truly belongs not to us, but to God. Think about it: how much of what we possess here on earth can we take with us when we die? The answer is nothing, because it all belongs to God. Even our own lives are not our own, but it is God who breathes life into us and all creation.


Fortunately for us, God is great at sharing what belongs to God. God does not give us what we call our own; God shares with us. Giving and sharing are not the same thing. When we give a gift to someone, we also relinquish all ownership of that gift. It is no longer ours, but instead belongs to the person receiving the gift. When we share, there is no transfer of ownership.


So God never really gives us anything; instead, God shares with us from God’s abundance and asks us to be good caretakers, or stewards, of what is God’s. A part of being good caretakers of what God entrusts to us is to be sure that we are sharing with others from our abundance. Instead of asking ourselves how much of what God entrusts to us should we give away, maybe we should be asking ourselves instead how much of what God entrusts to us do we dare keep for ourselves?


Just like God used the sharing of the boy with the fish and loaves, when we step forward to share, God will use that sharing to do amazing things. What a blessing and joy it is to make a difference in the lives of others in God’s name through sharing our skills and talents and time, as well as our financial resources, to support the work of God done in and through our congregations, our synod, and other worthy organizations. We are all called by God to abundantly share what God has entrusted to us.


God’s blessings to each of us as we live and share generously!


Rev. Dr. Ryan Brodin
Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Mounds View


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