Half Empty or Half Full

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. John 15:5

The idea of the glass being half empty or half full is a common proverbial phrase that is used to illustrate that a situation can be generally positive or negative. It can also be interpreted as a state of mind, or perception of one’s worldview. Either way, it’s an assessment of a moment in time.

Life’s journey is really about the source of it all. I recall the Jackson Browne song “Running on Empty” which describes a (hopefully) transitional season of life. He uses the metaphor of a gas tank to describe his place in life. In fact, we are constantly refilling and recharging. Be it gasoline, cell phone or laptop batteries, or grabbing a snack or meal, we need to replenish our source of energy.

The thing is, these sources are temporary and must be constantly replenished. Today, Jesus reminds us that we are connected, and when we are connected not only are we nourished but we “bear much fruit.” Connected and nourished, two essentials for the long run and for everyday stewards. No longer are we half empty OR half full!

The Value of Your Stewardship

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Easter 2017

body of Christ

What do you think is the value of your stewardship? Do you believe that through your actions both great and small that God can touch people, heal them, and change their lives? Too often we can mistakenly assume that what we do, say, or offer can have little effect in the grand scheme of life. We are simply poor sinners in need of salvation so what could we do anyway?

Jesus speaks very powerfully to what can be done by those who believe in Him and follow Him. He says in John’s gospel, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.” Greater ones than these? Think about all the miracles of Jesus recorded in sacred scripture. You and I can do works greater than those?

Theresa of Avila said, “Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” We are Christ to a world that needs Him. It is the Christ in you that responds to the Christ in me. If it were only you alone going about doing good works and deeds, than your stewardship would amount to little. But if you bear the name Christian, and you approach your discipleship seriously, you can truly do greater things. If you understand your stewardship as a way that Jesus works in our world, then this way of life, cultivating and sharing your gifts at every turn, becomes more valuable than all the gold in the world.