Resources

 

Pastor's Bible Study

Every Wednesday morning during the school year, Dr. Furr teaches adults on a wide variety of topics with discussion – often a book of the Bible or some aspect of the Christian life or doctrine. All you need is a Bible and an inquisitive mind! Occasionally, a particular book is ordered for everyone who wants to purchase a copy. This group meets on Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Adult Seminar Room across from the Library. Find current topics under Latest News. Please join in.

 

Pastor's Column

 

it's god's economy, stupid!

september 19, 2017


 

It’s God’s Economy, Stupid!

“It’s the economy, stupid,” was a phrase made famous in the Presidential election of 1992 when President Clinton was narrowly elected. It was coined, I think, by then aide George Stephanopolous to remind the campaign to stay focused on the pocketbook issues facing working Americans as a strategy to get elected. It worked.

As we enter into a time of undertaking our faith efforts together to carry forward our ministries and missions next year, this phrase popped into my mind. But, for us, it’s God’s economy. God’s economy is based on the reality of abundance—God’s and the implication of that for us—trusting faith, robust generosity, joy and sharing.

What does God’s economy look like?

  • It is based on faith, not on fear and anxiety
  • It is expressed as generosity and confidence, not selfishness and clutching onto one’s life
  • It is eager to invest in the things of God, not shallow and empty pleasures
  • Its interest multiplies and redoubles through others
  • It brings benefit to the giver and the church and the world
  • It has a 100% return.
  • It is a witness to a church that led early observers to say, “See how the Christians love one another.”
  • Its causes give life, not take it, deepen human purpose and meaning, not rob them, and answers the search for meaningful life.
  • It demonstrates the gospel.
  • It hands the faith on to the next generation and believes that children, all the children everywhere, matter utterly to God and need to know that.
  • It is a partnership that asks us all to help. It is an economy with room for all and a table that always has another empty seat for someone to sit down and join with us.
  • It saves us from the destructive power of greed and selfishness.

So I pop myself on the side of the head every now and then and remind myself, “It’s God’s economy, stupid. Don’t get bogged down in ‘how it is out there.’” Giving is the Jesus way. It’s the best way. Join the new economy. God’s economy.

World Communion Sunday

On October 1 we join Christians around the world in observing communion (some call it eucharist (“joy”), some the “Lord’s Supper.” World Communion Day seems a fairly tame notion—or is it?

In the middle ages and Reformation periods Christians fought over whether it was literal, mystical or symbolic.  “Excommunication” in the ancient church meant being excluded from the Lord’s Supper. I once read an interesting quote attributed to Ernest Renan who defined a nation as “a group of people united by a mistaken view of the past and a hatred of their neighbors.” 

To sit at the same table together for a simple and powerful act of worship in the name of Jesus is a powerful act of defiance, when you think about the divisions, hurts and resentments that pervade the world.

World Communion Sunday may sound tame, but it’s a radical act to sit at a table of grace with other sinners and remember Jesus.  Jesus himself got in trouble for eating with the wrong kind of people. When you take the bread and drink the cup, consider what a radical and transforming act you are undertaking—to be a follower of Jesus pledged to something deeper than every human division. Did you ever think that “welcome” would be a revolutionary word?

                                             Gary