The Inside Column 15/09

Posted in: The Inside Column- Sep 16, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshipping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Today we are looking at the spiritual practice of Simplicity.

If there is one spiritual practices that flies in the face of our modem lives it has to be the practice of simplicity. We are bombarded all the time with advertising telling us we need more, we need to have more, we need to experience more, more, more, more…

Richard Foster, author of The Freedom of Simplicity says:
The Christian Discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. Both the inward and the outward aspects of simplicity are essential. We deceive ourselves if we believe we can possess the inward reality without its having a profound effect on how we live. To attempt to arrange an outward lifestyle of simplicity without the inward reality leads to deadly legalism. Simplicity begins in inward focus and unity. Experiencing the inward reality liberates us outwardly. Speech becomes truthful and honest. The lust for status and position is gone because we no longer need status and position. We cease from showy extravagance not on the grounds of being unable to afford it, but on the grounds of principle. Our goods become available to others. We join the experience that Richard E. Byrd, after months alone in the barren Arctic, recorded in his journal, “I am learning … that a man can live profoundly without masses of things.”

Contemporary culture lacks both the inward reality and the outward life-style of simplicity. We must live in the modern world, and we are affected by its fractured and fragmented state. We are trapped in a maze of competing attachments. One moment we make decisions on the basis of sound reason and the next moment out of fear of what others will think of us. We have no unity or focus around which our lives are oriented. Because we lack a divine Centre our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like. In a world that is wrestling with limited resources and extremes of rich and poor, revisiting the principles of living simply is worth exploring.

Reminder – Next Sunday we are having a combined celebration gift day service, with breakfast starting at 9.00am followed by the Service at 10.00am. All are welcome.

Yours in Christ

Phil

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