December 15 - 21, 2008

 SOLI/Update

    archive.stewardshipoflife.org


Lowly People, Mighty Purposes

What mighty purpose does God have for you? Ponder the question. Seriously. Again, What mighty purpose does God have for you? Most of us just smile. Mighty purposes? Me? You can't be serious! But then, what else is your life for, except God's mighty purposes?

All this Advent the lectionary readings have been about how uses common Joes and Janes like me and you to achieve mighty purposes.

Exhibit A: John the Baptizer, from the second and third week of Advent. Wild, rough, existing on a diet of bugs and honey, no one could have looked less credible on the surface. In looks and lifestyle, today's John the Baptist would probably be a homeless person, foraging for food in restaurant dumpsters and wearing clothes from Goodwill. Yet God gave John one of the most important tasks of any human: To announce the arrival of God's son.

The original wild and crazy guy, but John was perfect for the job God gave him. What other purpose would his life have been for?

Exhibit B: Mary, the simple country girl engaged to be married to the tradesman. This week's Gospel tells how God's most powerful angel appears with the message that she will play THE leading female role in the God's plan of salvation. Her "Magnificat" has inspired faithful people for centuries.

Just an ordinary girl, but Mary was perfect for the task God had for her.  What other purpose would her life have been for? 

When we talk about the stewardship of our lives, we have to remember God's mighty purposes for each of us. Like John the Baptizer, we may proclaim the messiah to our neighbors, friends, co-workers and relatives by modeling Christian compassion, joy and sharing the love of Christ with them.

Like Mary we may nourish the faith of children,  raise them in the ways of God, so they grow up to be the young men and women that God desires for them. 

Sharing faith and raising children. What mightier purposes are there?

-Rob Blezard

Reprint rights gladly given to congregations for local, nonprofit use. Just include this notice: "Copyright (c) 2008, Rev. Robert Blezard, archive.stewardshipoflife.org. Used by permission." All other uses please inquire: rcblezard@embarqmail.net.


New This Week:

Donating, Drinking, Depression and Devotion
Barna GroupThe Barna Group surveyed Christians about their Christmastime habits. Their results may give some insight to pastors and other church leaders seeking to minister to the faithful and reach out to the unchurched. Click here for “Donating, Drinking, Depression and Devotion, from The Barna Group.


Sharron LucasSo What? Now What? God’s What!
Christmas isn’t just any other day, but how do we explain its difference to a world that seems so openly opposed to the message of the gospel? How can a tiny, ethnic refugee baby compete with all the trimmings of an American holiday? What’s a Christian to do?” Sharron has some ideas. Click here for “So What?” the latest essay by SOLI columnist Sharron Reissinger Lucas. Click here to read her archived columns.

 

Advent ConspiracyAdvent Conspiracy
Americans spend $45 billion at Christmas every year, the website says, and the world gets very little of lasting value from it. They invite everyone to join the Advent Conspiracy to reform our celebration of Christmas away from consumerism. The handy plan calls for simple steps: Worship fully, spend less, give more, love all. Click here for Advent Conspiracy.


Faith, Hope, and the Credit Crisis
Sojourners Magazine“The underlying causes of the current economic crisis are not financial, but spiritual. At least five of the seven deadly sins came into play: gluttony, greed, sloth, envy, and ultimately pride all came before the fall.” Interesting reading! Click here for “Faith, Hope, and the Credit Crisis, from Sojourners magazine.



Tuck AakerGiving During a Crisis
 “The effect of not knowing or being able to accurately predict what will happen in the coming years is bringing a huge amount of fear into every home and every congregation. And with that fear comes the tendency to become negative about anything and everything relating to their finances.” Click here for “Giving During a Crisis,” from Tuck Aaker, columnist for ELCA Stewardship Resources.