Here are some highlights from the Sunday service at Mayflower Congregational Church-UCC. "Where head and heart are equal partners in faith."
The Prayer of Confession:
Lord of Life, we pause in the midst of high anxiety about our country's financial future to remember the wisdom of the church about wealth and the life of the spirit. Once again, as we struggle to recover from an era of greed and corruption, we are driven back to words that are older than any political party or media spin: "The love of money is the root of all evil." Teach us, we pray, to heed the wisdom of the ages, not the seductions of idolatry. In the name of Jesus our Teacher and Lord we pray, Amen.
Special Music: "Simple Gifts" Shaker hymn, arranged by Mark Hayes
Scripture Reading: Mark 10:17-25 (The story of the rich man told by Jesus to "sell all you have and give to the poor.")
Next to the kingdom of God, Jesus' most freguent topic was money.
When Jesus attacked the Temple money changers during Passion Week, he sealed his doom.
Talking about greed is suddenly in in our world. We are reminded of the scene in the movie Wall Street where Michael Douglas' character states that "Greed is good."
We need to be reminded that the First Commandment is, "Do not make an idol for yourself out of anything."
Jesus said, "You cannot serve God and Wealth."
"The love of money is the root of all evil."
One commentator said, "Why do we borrow money from China so that we can buy oil from Saudi Arabia which in turn is poisoning our planet?"
Prosperity theology, the preaching that God will help us become rich, is the final and complete perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Louis Brandeis once said, "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
The church of Jesus must challenge the present social/economic system in the nation, not merely endorse it.
Proverbs 19:17--"He who gives to the poor, lends to God." This is a much safers investiment than any bank.
The responsibility of the church in this economic crisis is the same that it has been throughout the ages. We must seek to help those harmed by these events and confront those who have caused it with the Word of Truth.
We need in these times to rediscover the joys of simplicity. In the words of the Shaker hymn:
It's a gift to be simple.
It's a gift to be free.
It's a gift to come down where we ought to be.
And when we come around to the place that's right,
We will be in the valley of love and delight.