So the last few days I have been reading “Enough” by Will Samson that I received from being part of the Ooze Viral Bloggers. It’s been a good read and there are a lot of things that I resonated with strongly. I have again realized, as I have many times before, that I am caught up in this cycle as well. That I consume more than I should when it comes to resources (food, energy, etc..) and that I don’t often look at ways of consuming less (doing more for the environment, eating less, spending less, etc..) This book opened my eyes to some other ways of interacting with issue of contentment in the age of excess. Here are some quotes from the book that I resonated with.

“G.K. Chesterton once famously quipped, ‘Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

“Jerry Falwell suggested that ‘God is pro-war’. Several leading evangelicals suggested that the invasion of Iraq would open up ‘exciting new doors’ for proselytizing Muslims.”- As a pacifist, I couldn’t disagree more strongly to these sentiments.

“But we are most like Christ when we are incarnated in the life of the other.”

“As Robert Farrar Capon notes, every miracle of Jesus except one, the cursing of the fig tree, was a miracle of the restoration of creation.”

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”- Jeremiah 29:7…hmm Jeremiah 29…I think I shared the other day about a Scripture in Jeremiah 29.

“Our Communities should tell a story of Christ in the Eucharist, a story that there is no longer Jew nor Greek, homeless nor homeowner, addicted nor clean, broken nor whole. Rather, we are all to be broken, blessed, and offered to a world in need.”

“What would it be like to be formed by communities consumed by God and God’s vision for the world, and to present our community itself as an alternative vision to individuals consumed by the mindless consumption of stuff?”

“The radical nature of the early church was due to many aspects, but one of the greatest was the notion that each person was responsible for living out the gospel himself or herself; each person was responsible for the creation of what two writers recently called ‘the tangible kingdom.”

“I mentioned the missionary writer Lesslie Newbigin before. He had a big phrase for what we are talking about here. He said that our congregations serve as ‘hermeneutics of the gospel.’ (Hermeneutics is just a fancy word for interpretation.) In other words, the way we act tells a story; it interprets for the broader culture the story of Jesus. Our lives, and the lives of our congregations, become a kind of new gospel account, written in public and for all to see. If the American church in the age of consumer excess were to tell a story, what would that story be?”

I’ll share later about some concrete action steps that the author gives in order to deal with this issue of consumption in our personal and corporate lives.