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October 31 is celebrated as Halloween Day. For us, October 31 is Reformation Day, which commemorates the reformation of the church that God accomplished through such notable church leaders as Dr. Martin Luther.

A Gospel reading for Reformation Day comes from John 8:31–36 and opens with these words of Jesus: “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” God used the Reformation to free his people from many of the abuses and false teachings of the 16th century church. Over 490 years later, we still enjoy spiritual freedom by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as taught in the Holy Scriptures, the true and reliable Word of God.

That freedom carries over into our lives as God’s stewards. As God’s stewards, we are freed from the burden of having to do good works in an attempt to gain our salvation. Instead, we are freed to living new lives as joy-filled people of God.

Stewardship is a joyful response to God’s love in Christ! St. Paul said it so well in 2 Corinthians 9:6–8: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Isn’t it marvelous to know that we have such a great and generous God who provides us freely with so many blessings for our enjoyment and use? Isn’t it great to know that we have been freed in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit for joy-filled living and giving? What an incentive to manage all of life and life’s resources for God’s purposes! There is no better life on this side of heaven!

Saint John’s Stewardship Board promotes the development of good stewardship and giving patterns among the members of Saint John’s.