Happy Thanksgiving all! It is a time to strengthen, or at least interact with you own oikos on a personal level as you gather to celebrate a meal and strengthen bonds (hopefully.) Thanksgiving is timely as it relates to this reflection because when I consider the church (not as an institution but rather as God’s children,) I envision God as the head who is so very eager for everyone to attend his Thanksgiving meal every day! I believe he does so by trying to relate to us through various voices. These voices can manifest themselves through the ministry of Christ, the splendor of nature, and/or countless other channels. As I reflect on these readings and reconcile them to an oikos or a unit of close relationships; I keep coming back to stewardship in all cases. We are stewards of God’s resources which include: the earth, space, and everything contained there within. Our relationship with these resources (such as economy and ecology) is derived by the maturity of our relationship with the creator.
Economy, how we exchange limited resources, can reflect our relationship with God. For example, consider a person who is obsessed with a football team and spends countless dollars on team products, tickets, and all the creative and various ways money can be spent in such a fashion. Now suppose this same person may or may not offer a five dollar bill when the plate is passed on Sunday. Who is he worshipping? Who is his God? They say we vote with our dollars but I believe we also worship with them as it relates to stewardship. Ecology, how we relate to our planet, also is a function of stewardship insomuch as how we value mother earth. When you define worship as ‘adding value’ to something, then economy and ecology can be a function of worship. God desires closeness with each of us. As we strengthen our relationship with God, our behaviors will begin to change as well. When this happens, a more ‘just’ system of economy and ecology will emerge whether God is reaching you through the institution of the church or by some other means.
One of the great benefits of the Eucharist, is the equalizing nature of being fed by the broken body of Christ. Regardless of what vehicle your drove to church, how much you placed in the offering plate, your favorite pew, or the other various disparities of community; the Eucharist is the leveling function of the church. To apply this equality to society requires a more ecumenical church. As we open our minds and remove the filters from our hearts the universal salvation God has for us breaks through all barriers of class and discrimination.