I am reading 7 but Jen Hatmaker. It's premise is an experiment in giving up all but seven things for seven different months. Topics include food, clothing, possessions, media, waste, spending, and stress. A common thread most Americans can relate too. The other day I was getting a pedicure after my nine mile run (which was close to heaven on Earth!) and the television channel was on a show called Man V. Food. This guy and a team of forty people took on a 190 POUND burger. They conquered almost 170 pounds of it before they couldn't eat anymore. It hit me in a gut check because I can barely finish a 1/4 pound burger and because here we are in the land of excess watching entertainment about people STUFFING their faces for a challenge. Stuffing their faces that costs a lot of money since it took a minimum of one day to make said burger at the restaurant, payment for filming crew, payment for the Host (whoever he is), and more. Then I got to thinking since I was reading this section about food and having too much that we throw it away. And then onto people that don't have much of anything to eat, and then further to those who have nothing to eat and forage in GARBAGE piles and fight flies, stray dogs, and other people for food. All because we were born in a different parcel of land.
And we DO live in a land of entertainment, excess, and little redemption from it. As I type this on my macbook, I see my Nook Tablet, my Wii, and a regular DVD player. FOUR different sources of which I could watch a movie, search the internet (on 3 out of 4), or read a book. Heck, I can even SHOP in my pajamas while doing all the above. We have such little connection to the worlds around us that are suffering because we have so much. We focus on self, family, friends, and even helping the church, which technically helps us. We think in doing all this, we're doing for others, and for God. How can that be when there is still so much injustice, suffering, hunger, sex trade/trafficking, and other horrendous things going on in the world that we turn a blind eye against?
I wonder why there isn't "church" or "Sunday School" mentioned in the Bible. At least not in today's American church culture terms. Church was meant to be us, the BODY of Christ, not the place where we hear a sermon, maybe sing some songs of Worship, and say hi to people we haven't seen in a week. Then we all go home, back to our busy schedules and meet again on Sundays. We were MEANT to meet in houses DAILY, know each other deeply and personally to have accountability, share everything we have, give to those whom have little, and love one another. I can't say I am loving my neighbor while I grumble about picking up water bottles thrown in my pine trees or front yard, or while just a few houses away they could be starving for food, or children need watching while I prefer to sit inside my cozy house and do busy chores to keep it clean. Does Jesus scorn us for having church buildings instead of giving that money to those in need? It's weird to think about, but the most effective places I've seen/done/lived church were in small groups that met in homes. Small groups of people that connected and changed direction from studying to doing. It's one thing to read and a whole different ball game to DO. My best church days were going out and DOING the work of Christ instead of meeting once again to "do church."
I am obviously so torn over these issues. I can see both sides of issues fairly easy, but is there a side that wins here? How can we show Jesus to a culture who doesn't see a difference between Christians and non-Christians because we're not the ones DOING the good, we're allowing the government, the red cross, Compassion, etc DO it for us?! (and I have NO issue with the Red Cross, Compassion, etc!!). Isn't the church as a WHOLE body the ones who are suppose to step in and be the source of light, hope, peace, justice, and LOVE?
What do yall think? Am I crazy? Ranting just to rant and not doing? I need prayers, yall. My heart has been stirring for some time and I am not sure which direction it is going to take me, but I do know that nothing can be the same.