The Pay it Forward theme of this year’s stewardship campaign challenges us to trust in God and live in faith. Faith is about more than feeling good. Worship is about more than filling an “emptiness” we feel in our hearts. The Christian way of life is so much more than “spiritual”, because spirituality is about so much more than a vague sense of something missing that people so often talk about when they discuss religion.
I am reading a book on Christian living called Simplicity: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul, by Bill Hybels. Pastor Hybels talks about restoring your energy, getting control of your calendar, mastering your finances, learning to forgive, conquering your fears, deepening your relationship circles, and finding your calling in life–and all of this from the perspective of a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Christian faith and Christian practices reach into every aspect of our lives. When we commit ourselves to Christ, everything is involved: every aspect of our lives from what we do with our time to how we deal with money to how we make and keep friends.
I think what I appreciate so much about this book is that Christian practices are presented not as ancient or arcane rituals but as practical guides to our everyday living. Another resource I am looking at is called the Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. Mr. Ramsey has written several books and offers an 8 week class on finances, again all based in a Christian faith and values.
I hope to present the Simplicity book in a four week series during Lent next year. We are also working to bring the Financial Peace University series to St. Dunstan’s Church after Easter. The “abundant life” we talk about that comes from our faith is about more than good feelings or good deeds. Christian practices are relevant to the most basic and pressing issues of our lives. We challenge ourselves to pay it forward because we dare to hope for more than good feelings.
Yours in Christ,
P.S. Thank you for the pledges you have made to support St. Dunstan’s Church in 2015. Together we will pay it forward as we both enjoy and share with others the abundant life that Jesus promises to those who love God and love their neighbor.