Nurturing God’s Gifts
By Clint Le Bruyns (MAT ’99)
Alumni/ae Council Chair-elect
Christmastime is indeed about gifts--an acknowledgement of the gift of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, and the responsibility to serve as a gift of God in everyday life.
Fuller was one such gift to us as past students, and we too were such gifts to Fuller in different ways.
So how do we take proper care of our gifts? Now we’re talking stewardship. Beyond the mere management of economic resources, stewardship is essentially about God’s gifts that we receive and the nurturing care thereof.
Reinhold Niebuhr, in his article “Is Stewardship Ethical?” in the 1930s, challenged us to go beyond mere management and take cognizance of what these gifts are, how we got them, what we do with them, and their impact. Leonardo Boff, in his recent book Essential Care, talks about how we make ourselves present in the world, whether through domination or care, and advocates for an ethic of responsible care in how we relate to one another. Douglas Hall, in his 1990 book on stewardship, emphasized our responsibility for the care and nurture of all of life.
Fuller, through the Alumni/ae Council, is committed to our ever-continuing partnership to contribute to the manifold ministries of Christ and his Church. Together we want to thank God for the giftedness of each other. Together we want to pray that we humbly and faithfully serve as God’s gifts in the church and society. Together we want to take seriously the need to better understand who we all are, where we come from, what we are doing, how we are at work in our respective contexts, and where we can mutually enhance our partnership. Together we want to encourage each other to be responsible agents of God’s care within the everyday realities of life.
A blessed Christmas and New Year to each of you! Together may we come to better know the gifts of God for the people of God, by which all might better encounter the abundant life for which Jesus came and so freely gave his life (John 10:10).