We've all heard that stewardship is giving to the church of out time, talents, & treasure. This alliterative trinity helps us see that giving is not just about money, but about our whole lives. For God has given us everything we have & enjoy as we confess in the meaning to the First Article of the Apostle's Creed. And what we confess first amont those is that God gives us "our body & soul, our eyes, ears, & all our members, our reason & all our senses". Only then do we confess that he gives us material things. THus the time, talents & treasure trinity places before our eyes the fact that we are to give something of all of these things toward the mission of the church in thanksgiving for what GOd has provided. For everything we have, & indeed everything we are, comes from God's fatherly divine goodness & mercy.
The problem with this alliterative trinity comes when we replace one little word with another little word - when we replace the word "and" with the word "or". It is always written with the "and," but when we read it, we read it with the "or". Thus this quite helpful trinity, which extolled that everything that we have & are is a gift from God & which is to be pressed into the service of God in His church, turns into a trinity that we can pick & choose which of the trinity we use into the service of God. The giving of our time, talents AND treasures turns into the giving of our time, talents OR treasures.
Then the question arises: Can we give of our time & talents instead of our treasures? Or perhaps it is the other way round: Can we give our treasure & not of our time & talents? But these are the wrong questions. The right question is, can we give of our time & our talents in addition to our treasure? Yes, indeed, we are galled to give of all three. The things that God gives us are not to be pitted against one another. They are given to us & we are to press them all into God's service for benefit of His church & our neighbors in need.
Thus we give all three. We give our treasure in the form of a generous, first-fruits, proportion of our income. We give of our time in generosity for the benefit of Christ's holy church. We give of out talents in the same manner. Since God gave us all these things, we are called to give generously of all these things in faith toward Him & in fervent love to our neighbors.
For God has provided all these things to us. Out of His fatherly, diving goodness & mercy, He gives us each time, talents AND treasures as a means to bless those around us. We serve our neighbors with these things, blessing them with the blessings in which God has blessed us. We give of our time, talents, & treasures to our families, our society, & to our church, our local congregations. And we do this because we know that we are not out own. Rather, we belong to God. We have been bought with a price - with the holy precious blood & innocent suffering & death of our Lord Jesus Christ. He gave everything - His time, His talents, & His treasure - to have us as His own & to live under Him in HIs kingdom & serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence & blessedness. We have these things as gifts & blessings from God. Let us then press them all into service for the sake of His love - time, talents & treasures together.