Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's right

Our new President champions hope in what for many looks like a hopeless time. He stresses individual contributions that advance the common good because he knows government can only do so much. I believe in the concept of hope and I've been thinking a lot about what our role as Christians should be in the present economic and cultural milieu.

Many learned people have said that even the smallest contribution of one well-meaning person can make a difference. One small pebble thrown into a pool creates larger and larger circles of energy. Jesus honored the woman who gave the tiniest bit of money because her heart was good, her action generous. Her giving of the mite caught the attention of the Lord of the Universe.

Barak Obama was elected President because of the selfless acts of thousands of men and women who paved the way for him. Visit the web sites that champion the work of civil rights workers and you'll understand how a multitude of small acts can create a revolution.

At a time such as this we all need to do what we can with a good heart and a generous spirit. What might that look like?

What if we all gave a bit more to worthy causes or started to give something to one? Even if it meant adjusting our personal standard of living.

What if we wrote to companies we hold stock in and asked them not to worry about hitting insane profit projections but instead focus on being just, loyal and honorable?

What if we owned a company and decided to make less and hire one more? or two? or three?

What if we went to management and told them we'd be willing to make less if it meant someone else could keep a job?

What if we had a two bedroom family living in a five bedroom home and decided to rent a couple of rooms out to those who've hit hard times?

What if we owned a bank and decided to renegotiate some loans?

What if we decided to tithe our money, our time, and our talents?

What if we gathered friends together and chose to live more intentionally in community?

What if we intentionally decided to downsize and with our savings invest in those who have real need?

What if????

Now is the time. It really is. This could be the best time to practice our faith, honor God, and to model kingdom living. Scratch 'could be'. This is the time.

What will we decide to do?

Listen carefully. There are echoes all around us of the prophets calling us to justice and righteousness and sacrifice. There is a clarion call to be God's people... to light a torch, to carry a burden, to meet a need. Little acts of courage and sacrifice can make a difference. What will you do?


Randy Siever said...

These are great and 'doable' ideas, Mike. It is amazing how one little act of kindness or generosity can impact the world...especially if it becomes part of the fabric of our culture. My little men's group is researching what it would take to reduce the amount of safe, edible food that is disposed of each week by grocery stores, and how it can be safely distributed to those who are hungry in our community. So far we have been stunned by how small the obstacles are, legally, health department and otherwise. Not sure if we'll be able to create a distribution system, but we will offer our research to whoever is interested at the very least.

Time for us all to step up and do what's doable.

anita lustrea said...

This is your best blog post yet. What if the body of Christ really acted on this. I think you might see some of these thoughts show up on a Midday Connection sometime soon!

KrazyDaizy said...

Aside from the obvious political bias, there is a strange sense of hypocrisy here. What if the largest church in the area, perhaps in the whole county, sat locked up tight as a drum all night long? That church with an almost obscene amount of space and some would say a world-class kitchen plus some other food-service facilities, yes, that church. What if that church thought about other churches in the area? Yes, those much smaller churches who mostly serve working-class families. Those churches who open up their meager facility to the homeless to spend the night; who use their not very well-appointed kitchen to make a hot dinner, then a hot breakfast the next morning and pack a sack lunch for those homeless and shivering men, WOMEN AND CHILDREN? What if we thought about the members of those churches, some on Food Stamps themselves, who come in the next morning and gather up the soiled bed linens and take them home to wash and have them ready for the next week. Of course, it is EVER so much easier to write a check or "assist" some other church to do the dirty work, but what if that big church decided to walk the talk? Hmmmm. Lots of homeless could sleep there!

Hmmmm. What if that big church decided to allow a small, struggling group of folks from the Mid-east, new Christians they, but no place to worship! A couple of small churches in the county have opened their doors to allow their worship in their sanctuaries on Saturdays, but then, hmmmm, they bring in their strange-smelling foods and they talk in languages we don't always understand and oh, it just somehow seems so MESSY!

What if a big church did that, instead of hoping the business community that is already being tapped dry "just do a little more" and oh, yeah, now that Mr. Obama is there, maybe that business will be REQUIRED to do those things. That won't make it so Christian after all will it, it will only assuage the feelings of those folks who don't understand the business world to begin with.

Mike said...

Well, that was an interesting response. I assume you're talking about Christ Church of Oak Brook, where I serve. I'd welcome a conversation about the issues you raise. As a matter of fact, any of our staff would probably welcome it.

We are a big church. We do a lot of things well. There are many things we need to learn how to do better. There are things we probably don't do well at all. God is working on us, in us, through us, and despite of us. We want in on the best that God has to offer.

Looking forward to your call. Let's meet soon. 630.321.3901.