Saturday, October 24, 2009

Too Close to Home

Mark 10:17-31

This week we start a new series of messages called, Lessons Learned in a Recession. Part of the plan was for me to intro each message with a short interview of someone who lived through the Great Depression and therefore has a wider view on what's happening in our world now. It seems to me we could use some of that perspective and their wisdom these days.

What I didn't count on was that these wonderful, humble old saints don't really want to be interviewed on video. Each one I've asked so far (maybe it's me!) has said, "Oh, I can tell you some things, but don't turn a camera on!" I need one of those 60 Minutes cameras hidden in a brief case button, but I don't carry a briefcase. I might try just audio interviews, but it's a little more fun to watch people. Anyway, all that is to say that I'll be starting the series off sans video interviews!

I started thinking about this series because everything I've been reading and hearing about the economy says that this "recession" may really be the start of a very long-term shift. We've all been looking at this economic situation as if it were a dislocated shoulder that economists can knock back into place with a few twists and pushes here and there. Painful, but things will be okay once it pops back. Now we're all waking up to the fact that it isn't going to be that way. Things have changed. There's a new normal ahead and it may not look like what we've been used to. We're nowhere near what it was like during the Great Depression, but we also don't know what's ahead.

When we start to realize that things have changed, it might feel discouraging. Dreams of security, college, travel, homes, retirement . . . are wavering and may vanish for many. But there are a lot of very good things that come out of such a shift away from our past experience of super-abundance. For instance we start to realize our interdependence and our dependence on God (hopefully). Along with new perspectives, we'll be studying some bible passages and stories that give us insight about better ways to live; what we can learn; what's important now. I hope you'll do more than just listen to these messages. Part of the lesson we're already learning is lean times mean we need each other more than ever. So share your thoughts and wisdom! And watch out, I may have a video camera rolling.
- Curtis