We are Not Alone!

Here’s two more videos from the Moderator’s Not Alone challenge.

Malcolm Sinclair

Gord Waldie

Malcolm Sinclair’s video is the one we watched in church on Sunday, the the other is from Gord Waldie. How do you know you are not alone? Do you sense God more in relationships, even when the people are far from us, or have passed away, or in nature, silence, and reflection?

Have you ever had a moment where you just can’t describe it?

Remember the words of the New Creed:

In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God!

 

Dirty Cash

The following is adapted from the Lenten challenge “40 Acts”, which is about living generously. You can find more about it here: 40 Acts.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (I Timothy 6:10 NIV)

People often think that the phrase goes “money is the root of all evil” but you can see what the actual scripture passage says. Money itself is neutral, it’s the love of money and seeking money over other things more important that brings us to grief.

Take some time to challenge yourself to look honestly at your giving attitudes: do you view it as ‘your money’, or God’s? How much would you like to be able to give, if you could? What causes would you give to? Pray about those things.

Here’s a story by David Flowers from Leeds Vineyard / Flowers McEwan Ltd. Find out more about them and support their chosen charity here.

‘Are you a Christian? How can you do this and wear a cross on your lapel?’

‘This’ was me giving a talk to some medical staff about their financial planning some years ago. I was wearing a suit with a small gold cross tastefully pinned to my lapel. My questioner was a newly qualified Christian doctor for whom (by the turning up of her nose) money was as inevitable yet as distasteful as emptying bedpans.

Interestingly, the Bible in general and Jesus in particular have a lot to say about money – without the upturned nose. The book is full of wisdom about saving, investment, insurance, debt, budgeting and, of course, generosity.

The overwhelming message of scripture is God’s grace to an undeserving creation. And the consistent application of that grace for us as we handle money is in generosity.

In fact, it is not the cash that is dirty; it is our love of cash. We are the recipients of so much grace and generosity from the Father, the least we can do is live generous lives for others. But when our love of money overcomes our generosity we can become resistant to God’s grace. The love of money may be the root of all evil but generosity with money grows good fruit in our lives.

As we learn generosity and how to handle money as recipients of grace, we make better and better decisions about finances in all areas of life. Money is not dirty cash – something that we separate out from our faith. Following Jesus affects everything, including how we spend, invest, borrow and give.

So I turned to the doctor and tried to explain how there was no conflict for me in wearing a cross and talking about money. In the words of John Mumford, founder of Vineyard Churches in the UK, I described life as a Christian as being less like a grapefruit and more like a milkshake. Faith and money should not be tasted in separate segments but all whisked up together!

Lent- we are Not Alone!

We are Not Alone- these are lines from our New Creed. They remind us that God is always with us. And during Lent, our Moderator has invited us to reflect on how we know we are not alone. Here’s her invitation to us:

Join #Not Alone this Lent

If you want to share your story, you can comment on this post, or another Not Alone post here on the blog, you can just tell me and I can share it anonymously if you like.

If you’d like to share it wider, you could share it in worship time (either by me reading it for you, or by sharing it yourself) or you could make a video to share beyond our church- if you want to do this, let me know and I can help!

You can find the videos that other people have shared on the United Church YouTube channel at:

United Church of Canada YouTube #NotAlone

And continue to check back on the blog, as I’ll post more of the videos on here as well! As well as other resources to help make this Lent a time to grow closer to God and to those around us!

Here’s our Moderator’s Not Alone story for us to read:

Moderator Jordan Cantwell- We are Not Alone