Spiritual action and responsible banking

Our recent focus on spirituality has been so good for me. I hope you have been blessed and challenged as well. We’re only half way through the series. This Sabbath, Scott brings part four, “The Word-Centered Life.” Grounding our spirituality in God’s word is such an essential aspect of a well-balanced spiritual life. I will be across town at my friend JR’s church speaking for what we’ve called a un-conference. It is basically a learning commons with a lot of speakers who speak for shorter time frames with conversation built around those talks. The theme is discipleship. This all strikes me as another of those Spirit-led convergences: sermon series on spiritual practice, an MAT concluding is research and planning about relational discipleship (not sure they’d agree with my characterization, but they can argue with me later), and a gathering where I and a bunch of others are speaking about discipleship for the missional church. I think God is trying to tell us something.

This transition may seem awkward, but we’re learning how to pay attention to God’s guidance. This coming Monday, November 8,  is a very important day and we need your attendance at an LA Voice action in Hollywood (Blessed Sacrament Church). We expect 900 leaders from LA Voice and our partners, along with 3 or 4 elected officials including, we hope, our Council Member Tom LaBonge.

So, why should you come to this event and what does it have to do with spirituality? I’ll say more about this in my final sermon in this series, but for now, working to change the way our community functions is a way of putting our spirituality into action. Secondly, I want you to think about Mae and Chris and what they’re going through and the invitation Mae gave you last week. She said something like, “It would mean a lot to me and my family if you would attend this action.” My interpretation of that was, “If you feel an impulse to support them and don’t know what you can do, you can come to this action. That would be helping.”

Finally, I want to remind you about Jesus’ parable of the unjust steward found in Matthew 18:23-35. The story is about forgiveness. It’s about the way we live our lives in relationship to each other. This story reminds us that in human community we have a responsibility to each other to be fair and just and forgiving. In the case of the big banks, they were more or less forgiven (bailed out) by the king (Bush and then Obama administrations). Upon receiving this forgiveness/bailout you would think they would extend the same forgiveness/bailout to average Americans about to lose their homes because of what they – the bankers – did! But they didn’t. Instead they went out and choked their servant (customers) and demanded immediate payment. What will the king do now? Please join us in helping the king (LA City Council) decide what to do!

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