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Second Week of Lent

Consumption

To live, we must consume. But currently we are consuming at an unsustainable pace – with damaging consequences for
our society and our planet.

 

Over a few short generations, we in the affluent fifth of humanity have become car drivers, television watchers, mall shoppers, and throwaway buyers.” – Alan Durning

Now many are becoming concerned about the greed, selfishness and conspicuous consumption which can crowd out meaningful time for family, community and spiritual fulfillment. Too often we fail to consider the damaging consequences of our lifestyle on the planet and the impact this will have on our children.

The Bible has plenty to say about consumption. The 10th commandment is blunt: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Jesus was unwavering: “Do not store up treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19)

Christian simplicity is not frugality or penny-pinching.  Rather, it is a faith-inspired way of living that wants to be more responsible. The Gospel motivates us to make consumer choices that respect the limitations of our planet’s resources and make a good life possible for everyone. The hallmark of this lifestyle is outer compassion and inner contentment.  

To learn more about actions you can take, what the church is saying about consumption, and additional resources click on the buttons in the column to the right.

 

Prayer

O Giver of Life,
you are the source of all creation,
Through the healing power of Jesus
you brought sight to the blind. 
Open our eyes to the pervasive
consumerism in this country.
Free us from its grip 
so we might enjoy spiritual freedom. 
Teach us to use your creation 
with moderation and compassion 
for those who do not have enough. 
You are our hope.
Amen.

Jesus said to them: “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” – Luke 12:15
Imagine if the Earth were divided equally among all of us. Each person would receive 4.5 acres. Now imagine that everything you need – food, energy, home, clothing, gadgets – must come from those 4.5 acres. But it takes 22.3 acres to maintain the average American lifestyle.There is a new way of observing Lent that helps us care for God’s creation by taking steps toward using only our fair share of its resources. Moving in the direction of 4.5 is essential for anyone walking in the footsteps of Jesus today.

Our Ministry

Lent 4.5 is a seven-week faith formation program which inspires and informs Christian communities on how to use the traditional Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to protect God’s creation, embrace Gospel justice and nurture spiritual fulfillment. It offers practical opportunities for people of faith to apply the values of Christian Simplicity to their everyday lives.


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