Percy Ainsworth, doctor a 19th century Anglican priest said, “The world is in a mighty hurry, not because its life is so full—though that is the way it always accounts for its haste– but because it is so empty…The more we hurry, the less we live…The length of life is found by measuring its depth. It goes inward toward the core of the soul.”
Referring to Isaiah 28:16, “He that believeth shall not make haste.”, Ainsworth noted,… “The prophet claims this much for faith, that it can teach us an inward attitude of mind and heart towards all this busy world that will save us from the curse, the spiritual blight of these feverish times.”
Christian stewardship is more than just pledging to your church. It’s about making this inward change, a change of the mind and the heart. Stewardship is a way of life.
Jesus said “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.”
Christian stewardship is about learning and then living into Jesus’ Way. It is about living the Life that Jesus invites but does not force us to live. We can grow into the Kingdom life by appropriating and living out the covenant we make with God at our baptism.
Do you remember your baptismal covenant? It may have been said for you if you were baptized as an infant, but you said it for yourself at your confirmation and every time you attended a baptism. After expressing your belief in God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit— you made several promises.
To summarize—you promised to be a lifelong learner of the scriptures. You promised to receive communion and to pray. You promised to live your life as a good example of a follower of Jesus; an example that attracts others to Him. You promised to seek Jesus and to serve Him by serving those in need. You promised to be a force for peace and to respect the dignity of every human being and to love them as Christ does.
So is your life full or is it empty? Are you always in a hurry or are you taking time to live. Is your living external or does it go deep into your soul? Maybe you need to stop and smell the roses. Maybe you need to work at living into your baptismal promises.
As a member of the body of Christ, you can fulfill your promise to be a learner by attending mass and a Bible study. You could also read any number of Christian books which your priest can recommend if you need suggestions. You can get into the habit of daily prayer. You can read the Daily Office. You can try to be a living example for Christ. In every parish and mission in the diocese there are lots of ways you can serve people, just ask your priest. You can work at loving people as Christ would, particularly the people in your life that are hard to love. More than anything you can commit to starting your day with prayer. That’s the fastest route to the interior life that adds meaning and banishes empty living.
Yours in Christ,
Canon Jim Fosdick SSC
(Providing an article to fill in for Bishop Morales who had an extended trip to Texas as this edition of the newsletter was going to press)