Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hard Times = Shining Moments

In a time of national economic turmoil, with looming global economic threats and the reality of significant cut-backs for companies and individuals, Christians can stand firm. This is your shining moment! We know that our well-being does not depend upon our stuff. We have a message that proclaims a glorious hope in spite of external struggle. We have a lifestyle (don’t we?) that proclaims simplicity and thrift combined with compassionate generosity and care for those in need. We have a heritage of ministry among the poor and broken-hearted. We trust in the God who has demonstrated the power to overcome death itself. Our foundation is the One who stretched out the cosmos, planning out our redemption in Christ 2000 years ago, establishing the Mystical Body of Christ on earth – the church – to endure and overcome every power and principality to God’s greater glory. The church was victorious through the rise and fall of the Roman empire, enduring the dark ages (providing the only ray of hope and succor during the great plagues), formed and reformed and continues to reform from age to age, staying strong through wars and rumours of wars and providing aid to uncountable victims of two millennia of natural disasters. The church provided the bedrock for the struggling during the Great Depression, and came through that storm with a renewed evangelical zeal and missionary heart.

This is our shining moment. We can be full of hope in God when others despair, to rejoice over what is really important when others weep over loosing the things this world has to offer, to promote peace and charity when stress brings out the rancor and hostility in those who have not yet grasped how wide, long and deep is the love of God for them. We can be beacons of hope as we live out the gospel of Christ, embodied best by a healthy community of believers who truly love one another and their neighbors, set ablaze through connecting with the eternal God in prayer, gaining greater focus upon the greatness of God, mercy of Christ and power of the Spirit through worship, and being conduits of God’s transforming power in their communities through actively loving, inviting, serving, and praying for their neighbors.

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