Sunday, July 31, 2005

Faith and our Communities

God made us as communal beings. We have depended on each other to survive for Millennia. The family is our basic structure. But it is our extended family, our community that we rely on for survival. God teaches us to love each other, that is the Golden Rule. Love everyone else as much as you love yourself. But today we don’t really apply this rule when it comes to possessions of luxury and comfort. We somehow seem to think that God says it’s OK to live in extreme comfort and convenience even when others in our community have much less and are often facing difficult burdens. Does this happen every day in America? You’d better believe it. But how have we become so focused on our own personal convenience, comfort, and even wealth?
It’s all around us isn't it?
Everyone one else is doing it and that’s just how it is. We’re born into it, like Romans born into the Proletariat. And it just seems normal. But not only is it all around us, it’s glamorized. Yes that’s right, all the slick executives on Madison Avenue make it sexy and attractive – a status symbol for us to achieve the American dream. They say success is having material wealth. When you can look like a Rock-star, then you're someone important.
But there is great injustice in this lifestyle of consumption, because for many, we loose sight of God’s word, love thy neighbor. And where there is power and wealth, just like in the Roman senate, there is corruption. Corruption is caused by greed. Greed is self-importance in spite of the rest of the community - placing your prosperity ahead of the basic needs of those in your community. In other words, we’re exploiting others for our benefit. And the bigger your community is, the more harm comes to the ones you’ve sinned against. Because when you do something in your own interests, you’re ignoring the interests of everyone else around you. And were not talking about private time, which is really meant to be time alone with God.
But I’m talking about what you do by your actions towards others. If your actions in the community are for the benefit of yourself while you ignore the needs of others, then you’re not living for God, you’re living for yourself. And all the luxuries and comforts that you provide for yourself are ways in which you show love to yourself. And to some extent that’s ok, but when the desire for those comforts grows larger than the desire to love thy neighbor, then we’ve got some thorns growing around our heart. Because the thorns say to everyone else – keep back, this heart belongs to me and I’m in control, I’ll decide who I’m going to share it with…
God wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful but not at the expense of others. As long as we honor His word truth and mercy, give thanks and praise he will guide our path to success. The greatest way we can worship God and live with God on Earth is to follow in the steps of His son Jesus Christ, and all the saints and prophets who have lived and have yet to grace us with their presence here on Earth. Jesus was sent by God to show us the way. And all that follow Him will be saved.
God’s heavenly spirit and his body here on earth – that’s you and me brothers and sisters, must exist as one, and He must have the space in our hearts so we can love each other. That’s all He really asks of us. He wants us to surrender our selves to Him. I must surrender those earthly possessions and desires that consume and possess me, and keep me from living His Holy Word: Mercy and Truth. Amen.

1 Comments:

At 7:00 AM, August 22, 2005, Blogger -W said...

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my blog.

 

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