Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2 Fair Dollars a Day

A post by Simon Walker got me thinking about the consumption of Christianity. We Christian's are able to attend a service, do a conference or read a book and for it to seemingly have no impact on our lifestyle choices at all. We so often consume spirituality in exactly the same way the New Ager does a soul-enhancing holiday. That is, for what we are able to get out of it. This is true none more so than over concern for and connection with mercy and justice (Keller's new book Generous Justice will speak to the heart of this).

Now, I am well-known in my very small circle for always banging on about grace. And we need grace here too. Somehow though, I think we also all need a kick (maybe it is reading 'In a pit with a lion on a snowy day' that has got me so passionate) to make better choices in order to bless the poor. There is a verse in Galatians that always inconveniently pops out at me..' we should continue to remember the poor'. So the primacy of grace of that wonderfully heated section Gal 1 v 6-9 is underpinned with an assumption that we are a community who look outward and love others (Romans 13: 8-10). That's just what we do apparently.

The trouble is we don't do we? That is why perhaps this observation from Marcus Honeysett struck me on why churches stall.

. … In my view, the single biggest cause of stalled churches in the UK is the belief that material comfort can be normative for Christians. It is the opposite of radical commitment to Christ.

My fellow pastor friends often discuss what it means to make a disciple. Paul says to Timothy.....'go into strict training'. We usually take this to mean bible study, prayer, church attendance, evangelism etc but what about a bit of training in compassion? Don't we need to be 'trained' in this too?

That's where my friend's lenten challenge is perhaps one way of releasing us into a living connectedness with others in need. She has called her blog 2 Fair Dollars a Day (which I started for her because she was procrastinating so much about her good idea). Maybe as part of Lent we should join Jenny for a day or two and get ourselves a bit better 'trained' in this loving neighbour business that Jesus seems to keen on us getting in the practice of.

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