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Okay, now let’s talk about this thing called Stewardship Day.
As many of you know, The Celebration of God is a discipleship experience whereby we are learning to worship God every moment of every day whether it’s a High Holy Day or an average Thursday at 1:53.
And we’re starting off our first year looking specifically at the holidays that populate our Christian calendar. And those holidays fall into three different categories.
1. We observe many of the historically celebrated holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.
2. We’ve created a number of brand new holidays like Creation Week and the Consummation.
3. We’re redeeming a handful of holidays that don’t typically make it onto most Christian’s schedules.
Halloween is probably the one that comes to mind first, but Valentines Day, Veteran’s Day, and Independence Day are other examples.
Now, if you’re new to the show, I highly recommend you listen to our introductory episodes. They will give you all of the information you need to understand our goals for The Year Long Celebration of God, and answer most of your questions.
But I will say that one of the biggest reasons we redeem otherwise secular holidays is the fact that all Christians are to worship God every single moment of every single day of every single year. I don’t get to stop worshipping God on St. Patrick’s Day just because it’s St. Patrick’s Day.
So, the question is, should we reject the entire observance of the day, or can I glorify God by purposefully worshipping Him within the observance or celebration of that holiday?
Well, today’s holiday is the perfect example.
In America, on April 22nd, many people are going to observe Earth Day. It’s not a national holiday, no one gets to take off work, school’s still meet, but many people — especially those who are passionate about the environment — make strides to celebrate the day in any way they can.
According to EarthDay.org, “From its very inception, Earth Day has been about civil society mobilization: In 1970, 20 million individuals — at the time, 10% of the U.S. population — mobilized to call for greater protections for our planet. This became the world’s first Earth Day. In the 50 years since that first Earth Day, EARTHDAY.ORG has created civically oriented innovative programs with partners both inside and outside of the environmental movement to tackle new challenges. Our environmental campaigns mobilize individuals around the world on issues from voter registration to environmental education.”
Now, EarthDay.org is a very liberal organization, but even though they aren’t the official spokespeople for the holiday, they represent well many of the people who herald the day.
They champion environmental causes including climate change, conservation, and pollution. Some of their causes are valuable and well-intentioned, and some are very politically charged.
If you Google “How to celebrate Earth Day,” one of the first sites I found suggests landscaping, riding a bike to work, making a bird feeder, start a community garden, and committing to carrying reusable bags with you when you shop.
As you can tell, the idea is to make changes that will have a positive impact on the environment.
Now, some of you are completely on board with this, but others of you are squinting and pursing your lips a bit because you recognize the false foundation of these otherwise noble endeavors.
And that’s why The Celebration of God doesn’t promote Earth Day.
But that’s also why we created Stewardship Day.
Now, I have a number of other podcast episodes I’ve included in the description of today’s episode that will explain to you why I created Stewardship Day and the Sanctified Sustainability movement. I highly encourage all Christians to listen to those episodes because I believe many of us are missing out on some very important biblical concepts.
But, allow me to sum up the main point here. Christians should be the best environmentalists on the planet. And I can prove it from Scripture.
However, before I do that, I need to point out that how we flex our environmentalism may be very different from the world’s version because our starting points are very different.
The world celebrates Earth Day and pursues environmentalism for two main reasons: 1. They love the Earth (we could even say that many of them worship the Earth), and 2. They love themselves and want to make sure the world is as healthy and enjoyable as it can be for them and their kids.
But Christians should approach environmentalism from the perspective that we know, love, and worship God. The only reason we should interact with the creation in any way is to please the Lord. So, if a Christian discovers that God has an expectation for how we steward the creation, then they will be very interested in submitting to that expectation and honoring God through their obedience.
So, let’s talk about Preparing for, Celebrating, and Discipling during Stewardship Day. While we do, we’ll look at a number of passages that will help us better understand God’s expectations for our stewardship of the Earth.
As always, you can go to CelebrationOfGod.com, click on the holidays tab, select Stewardship Day and find a bunch of resources to help you celebrate God on April 22nd.
One of those resources is our “Stewardship Day Bible Reading.” Many of you have contacted us to thank us for these Bible reading suggestions and schedules, and we look forward to making more and more in the future.
The Bible Readings are designed for two purposes. Purpose number one is to help you prepare your mind for worshipping God on the holiday. It’s too easy to rush through life and when the holiday arrives, it surprises use because we weren’t ready for it.
The Jews had preparations built into their special Holy Days that allowed them to get ready for the event so that they weren’t distracted on the day of or so that they didn’t break any ceremonial laws.
Well, we don’t have any ceremonial laws about which to worry, but we do need to take some time to prepare our minds.
The Bible Readings also have a celebratory function we’ll talk about in a minute.
The best thing you can do to prepare for Stewardship Day is to meditate on God’s Word, talk with Him about creation and His expectations for you, and involve others in the process.
Again, the best way to celebrate any holiday is to focus on celebrating the God of the holiday. This isn’t about celebrating the earth. This is about worshipping God. He’s the focus.
The day should be filled with giving God the preeminence, gratitude, submission, and being a shining light in the world.
Yes, it’s completely appropriate to observe Stewardship Day by riding your bike to work, planting a tree, or do creation-friendly crafts. In fact, the podcast episodes I referenced earlier are filled with ways your family can reduce waste in your homes, embrace Sanctified Sustainability, and steward the earth better. Check them out if you’re interested in more practical ways you can enjoy Stewardship Day.
But if we don’t make God the source and goal of that stewardship, then it’s no better than the World’s idolatry.
So, we recommend you take some time to read from the Bible Reading. Here’s an example of the kinds of passages you’ll find.
Genesis 1:28 lays out the Creation Mandate where God sets forth His plan for man’s stewardship of the earth and everything on it.
Proverbs 12:10 is one of many verses that teaches us that God does want us to care for our animals. It says, “A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.”
Now, please understand, the same God that wrote that verse also told us that He created animals — in part — to clothe and feed us. It’s not a sin to eat animals. Jesus Himself did it.
This is a perfect example of how Christians might approach this celebration differently than unbelievers. Whereas an unbeliever may say it’s worse to eat an egg than it is to abort a baby, Christians understand their stewardship in light of God’s character as revealed in Scripture.
Therefore, though Christians can eat animals, we’re still going to regard them and treat them well. We’re not going to torture them or force them to live in terrible conditions or kill them with no purpose.
But you’ll also find verses about general stewardship as well.
For example, when Jesus fed the 5,000, He instructed the disciples to “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” God hates waste, and Jesus never wasted anything.
But it’s not just food that we shouldn’t waste. Proverbs 4:2 says, “For I give you sound teaching; Do not abandon my instruction.”
We encourage you to take time on Stewardship Day to reflect on and practice these truths.
But, you should also invite others to participate with you.
In addition to reading the passages, discussing what you read, and praying, you and your fellow disciples should also apply them.
Maybe your class can participate in a park cleanup. Perhaps your church can adopt a highway. It would be great if your family planted a fruit tree.
Just remember that Christ-honoring discipleship is always going to involve you and your fellow disciples growing in your knowledge and understanding of God and then living wisely as you submit to God in obedience.
Once again, I encourage you to listen to the other episodes I’ve linked. You can also find them on the Stewardship Day resource page at CelebrationOfGod.com.
God’s creation of this world and everything on it is so amazing and important that we take a week to worship God because of it.
Stewardship Day is another fantastic opportunity for us to be reminded of God’s expectations for how we care for this temporary, earthly home.
And the best way to worship God is to continue stewarding everything He’s given you every day of the year — your resources, time, money, relationships, and even the Truth He’s given you.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets and join us next time as I give us all a crash course in Ascension and Pentecost.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.