Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Life changing.

The overwhelming witness of Scripture is that God transforms the world using the smallest and most unlikely methods—the outcasts, the underdogs, the forgotten, and the under-resourced. Last week was Passover and Easter. In one story the most powerful empire on earth is defeated and plundered by a band of poor slaves in communion with God. In the other story, the powers of evil and hell are defeated by the death and resurrection of a poor itinerant preacher from the backwaters of Galilee.

Beyond the testimony of Scripture, a glimpse at the state of global Christianity shows that many of the places where the faith is growing most rapidly are also where it lacks a privileged position. China may be the most vivid example, or among the Dalit (Untouchables) of India.

For those church leaders that have great concern over the “decline” of Christianity in America and the lack of genuine discipleship, I believe The Divine Commodity [Skye's new book] carries a message of enduring hope. God may be simply refining his church and burning away the cultural dross that we’ve acquired from our wandering in the Constantinian wilderness.

This refining may be painful as we lose institutions, facilities, and even some previously impactful ministries. But in the end I have great confidence that Christ’s Church, even in America, will prevail and disciple will be made. For when we are weak, then we are strong.

(via Skye Jethani on Alan Hirsh's blog, "Shapevine")


My friend David has embarked on an experiment. He is buying nothing new in 2009. Nothing at all, except food, basic toiletries (toothpaste, etc) and books (he is in grad school). His recent journal entry chronicles how it has gone for him, and why.

He references the video Story of Stuff, which I first watched about a year ago (thank you Satterlee) and it totally changed my life forever.

I haven't been on a 100% "consumerism fast" as he calls it, but I have made a real attempt to stop buying this spring for several reasons. It's crazy in our culture- just to stop. buying. period. But it has been really good for me, spiritually.


Suzanne said...

I'm loving the concept of simplifying our lives, purging ourselves of materialism in a radical way, and returning to the things in life with real value. I suppose my family has taken on this idea in a small way. Our family has decided to stop giving one another junkie little things (candles, pictures frames, silly things that you give moms and sisters) and have given acts of service instead (like we're giving my mom the gift of organizing her pantry for Mother's day, and free babysitting nights for my sister's birthday) I wish I was brave enough to go on a fast from consumerism, but I'm excited to see how some small steps can take me closer to that point. Let me know if you have any ideas for creatively implementing this concept, because I think it's a really neat one!

K said...

what an encourager, sweet suz:)