Over the next three Sundays (8th, 15th and 22nd September) and – after the school holidays – on the 20th October, we will be working through a sermon series produced by Baptist World Aid called The End of Greed: Consuming as if God, People and the Planet Matter.
Increasingly we hear voices in our society saying that our over-consumption of the planet’s resources, our callous attitude to living things, our neglect and exploitation of the poor and our consumer-driven lifestyles are robbing us of the good life we mistakenly thought we were achieving. The alternative to this is Jesus’ vision of the good life – “a life rich in love for God and others while responsibly enjoying and equitably sharing the beauty and bounty of the earth”.
Over these four weeks we are seeking to free ourselves from the diminished consumerist vision of the good life and replace it with Jesus’ vision.
We begin this Sunday with Scott Higgins (well-known to many of us), the author of this series, speaking to us about consuming as if God’s vision of our world matters – rejecting consumerism and embracing the kingdom of God.
The next two Sundays, 15th and 22nd September, I will be exploring consuming as if people matter – how we reject greed and exploitation and embrace generosity and justice.
Then, on the 20th October (on the same weekend as our Spring Eco-Fair) we will be looking at consuming as if the planet and the animals matter – rejecting destruction and embracing stewardship – and we will celebrate this with another blessing of the animals!
Throughout the series there will be specific lifestyle suggestions for pursuing God’s vision of the good life, but this Sunday, as the series begins, you’re encouraged to think about – and to write down – your main goals for your future; to ask yourself, “do these look like the aspirations of somebody whose life is focused on loving God, loving others and respectfully stewarding the earth?”
Then, having evaluated our goals, we are encouraged to replace our consumerism-shaped goals with kingdom-shaped goals. Scott asks, “If your life goal is to use your time, energy and resources to love God and love others, what would your top five aspirations be? …. How would your work patterns differ…? How would your spending patterns differ…?”
Finally, we are challenges to identify one new goal we can take up immediately and create an action plan to make this happen, breaking the goal down into simple steps that we can achieve. And once we have made progress in one area, to go back and pick another area from our goals to work on!
Let’s take up the challenge over these four weeks to break the power of greed in our lives – to consume as if God, people and the planet matters!
Amen to that! Belinda