“We constantly try to start from somewhere other than where we are. Truthful living involves being at home with ourselves, not complacently, but patiently, recognizing that what we are today, at this moment, is sufficiently loved and valued … ”
These words from Duke Theology and Ethics professor, Stanley Hauerwas, guided our teaching time Saturday. A good reminder that complacency and patience may look similar but are rooted in different realities. Complacency in cynicism and disengagement, patience is rooted in faith.
Stanley Hauerwas is always asking good questions. Questions that disrupt our previous understanding of leadership, church and power. Important stuff.
Stanley Hauerwas has a very thought provoking article on ABC’s Religion and Ethics. He questions the relationship between greed and lust and encourages the reader to consider greed as being something greater and deeper than a mere desire for more money. Here’s his article: Can Greed Be A Good?
Here’s an excerpt:
Greed is thus rightly called a deadly sin because it perverts the possibility of a proper human relation to the Creator, from whom we have received all that we need as gift.
Greed presumes and perpetuates a world of scarcity and want – a world in which there is never “enough.” But a world shaped by scarcity is a world that cannot trust that God has given all that we need.
Greed, in other words, prohibits faith. But the inverse is also true. For it is in the Christian celebration of the Eucharist that we have the prismatic act that makes possible our recognition that God has given us everything we need.
The Eucharist not only is the proclamation of abundance, but it is the enactment of abundance. In the Eucharist we discover that we cannot use Christ up. In the Eucharist we discover that the more the body and blood of Christ is shared, the more there is to be shared.
The Eucharist, therefore, is the way the Christian Church learns to understand why generosity rather than greed can and must shape our economic relations.
Stanley Hauerwas is concise, to the point, and packs a punch as usual. Worship really is the work of the people.
I think I’ve linked to this one before. There are many times I say, “come here, let’s pray real quick”. This is good advice to the contrary.
I have always been fascinated with Christian pacifists. When I was young I became acquainted with a Mennonite sect who lived near my home town. The men wore beards, the women wore black caps on the crowns of their heads and they lived separate from the surrounding community. They were farmers and since my dad was in agri-business he knew something of their habits and reputation. They were good about paying their bills and valued customers in the community.
They cooked great food with lots of butter. Most of them had what many people back home called “yankee” accents. (I found out years later that many of them came from Kansas and some from Indiana.) The children rarely attended high school. The entire Mennonite community was friendly even if a little standoffish.
This is an excerpt from a special that was on PBS about alzheimer’s disease and the care of those who are stricken with it. There is much to learn here about helping one another through all kinds of challenges in life most of which are much less tragic and daunting than dementia.
As we help those we love who suffer, struggle or hurt, what do we really have to offer them? What does the incarnation have to teach us? (John 1:14)