Living More Deeply ~ Loving More Widely
Each year we invite a member of the church to share with the congregation their thoughts about stewardship. This year we were blessed to hear from David Nelson. Here are his words:
November 13, 2016
I want to qualify everything I say by telling you these are my reflections as an imperfect believer and follower of Christ. My understanding is likely too simplified, but this is where I am in my faith journey, and it seems as I get older, I get simpler.
I need to make a confession; I am not self-sufficient.
I desperately need a church community because for me the way of Jesus is simple, but it is not easy.
As I understand it, Jesus taught a simple message that the Good News is the way of loving relationships.
He taught us the center is loving God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength- and he combined this with loving our neighbors and ourselves with a similar intensity.
He seemed to include everyone as our neighbors
No boundaries-No qualifications.
This Christ love is to intentionally will the good for the other, and to nurture this desire through worship, prayer, and action.
This Christ love has always been contrary to the culture of the world because it is so natural to put our trust and hopes in power, status, security, and group identifications.
This way of Christ seems foolish because it tells us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us. It tells us there is freedom in forgiveness, and it seems foolish because The Way of Christ is identification with the suffering, the poor, and the oppressed.
May I add in this political season, ultimately The Way of Christ is not the way of the donkey or the way of the elephant.
The Way of Christ is the way of the Lamb.
So just like the believers and followers of the Way of Christ in the very first churches
I need a church community, because for me The Way of Christ is simple, but it is not easy.
This is the season most of us decide our financial commitments to the church and other Kingdom of God causes.
I don’t think giving is about earning God’s love, or meeting minimal requirements to get into heaven.
It’s a gut check time on what we really trust and worship.
Is it status, politics, security, entertainment, consumerism, or is it the Kingdom of God?
ITS SIMPLE BUT IT ISN’T EASY.