Simplicity itself

Bob Sitze, writing for the Alban Institute:

At this moment in history, the world God loves is groaning under the weight of injustice and slowly being robbed of its capacity to sustain life. All around you, the people God loves are increasingly burdened by lifestyles they can’t keep up for very much longer. You and your congregation are called to help turn that around.

Many members of your congregation yearn for simpler lives. They see themselves as just a little strange, moving against the mainstream of American consumerism, odd ducks in a world of too much, too fast, too many. In bringing simple lifestyles to the center of your faith-filled conversations, think of Jesus’s own lifestyle, the things he said and did. The things he didn’t do. Consider the fact that the human Jesus also woke up in the morning, yawned, scratched his beard, had a cup of fair-trade coffee, and tried to make sense out of his e-mails.

In concentrating only on Jesus-as-God, you may miss the fact that the very human Jesus chose a lifestyle that fit the mission he received at his baptism. The healer and preacher also had to think about his next meal, his friendships, his enemies. He faced danger, he laughed, he sat around and talked with folks. He walked everywhere he wanted to go. He criticized religious authorities and the government, and he listened to farmers. He went to big dinners with very important people. He observed spiritual practices but didn’t spend lots of time at his local synagogue. The point here is not only that Jesus was human but also that in his lifestyle and career choices–yes, he made them just like you do–Jesus chose to live simply and joyfully in service to others.

It is hard to be against simplicity, but sometimes, in our already overcrowded lives, simplicity collides with convenience, or to use a word with perhaps fewer connotations, efficiency. Perhaps that is where a conversation on this subject would best begin.

Past Posts