September 25, 2018

Is It Too Late?

September 25, 2018


James 5:1-6
This weekend’s reading: Genesis 22:1-19


People have said it is fun to try to figure out who has written a particular Field Guide entry.  I am thankful today that we do not ‘sign’ these.  There is some freedom in being anonymous!
A few days ago at a four-way stop I noticed the cars…a Mercedes, a Lexus and an Infiniti.  The Tesla was invisible! Stealthy thing. Perhaps it was present and I only saw the shadow and felt the ‘swoosh’.

Obviously, one of those cars was mine.  My car is new and I LOVE it!  When I drive it, I feel proud.  I LOVE my neighborhood.  The houses are big and beautiful.  I feel proud.  When these chest-puffing out’ feelings arise, I immediately know they are NOT what God would have me feel.  James’ would say I am being arrogant: ‘proud in an unpleasant way and behaving as if you are better or more important than other people’ [OED]. Wealth is not the enemy, but it can provide a pretty large barrier to the search for the ‘Christ’ Life.  In Death by Suburb: How to Keep the Suburbs from Killing Your Soul, David Goetz encourages ‘a thicker, deeper’ life.  The suburbs carry ‘toxins’…actually exaggerations of our human tendencies and he proposes practices/actions that can provide antidotes. Goetz asks good questions [some are listed below] to help the reader bring forward the will of God and the practices of Christianity.


  • Think about living the perfect life. What are you doing?
  • What do you have? How does it all end?
  • What are the values of suburbia? Do you believe that it’s possible to live in suburbia and not capitulate to its values? What would that look like for you?
  • Who are some people you think are living the thicker, deeper life?


  • Take a field trip to around Nashville.  Visit as many parts of town as you can during the day. 
  • What do you see?
  • What questions are you asking?


Lord, we thank you for the stewardship you offer us.  Teach us to prayerfully serve those around us whether it is the labor of our hands, the openness in our hearts or the writing of a check.  Show us what is most needed…move us to action…in your name.  You have a purpose for all that we are and all that we have.  Amen.