I Corinthians 4.1-5; Psalm 36; Luke 5.33-39
It used to be commonly put forward that the origin of the English word steward was the Anglo-Saxon term for a ‘pig-keeper’. Most etymologists today dispute that and find the roots of the word in words meaning the care and protection (-ward) of a house. In any case, the sense implies responsibility assigned to us for the protection of property not our own.
And in that sense stewards are found everywhere we look in both Old and New Testaments: unworthy stewards who must be removed from office [Isaiah 22.15-21]; crafty stewards who manage to implicate their masters in their own mischievousness [Luke 16.1-8]; prudent stewards who share in their master’s joy. [Matthew 25.21]
To be a steward of the mysteries of God is to guard something we couldn’t invent and don’t control. In Greek Christianity, what we know as Sacraments are termed the Mysteries. We inevitably must stand silently before the acts of God, and most of all before those acts of grace by which God has declared us his own.