Word of the Week

Thinking about Simplicity


This Sunday in worship, we began a new sermon series for the rest of the month of August, "Simplicity."  We are taking our cues for this series from the gospel of Luke. We'll be looking at aspects of our lives that might be full of too much stuff. Today we examined the story of Mary and Martha as a way to examine the clutter of our thoughts in worry. Over the next four weeks we'll continue on with such topics of money, service, possessions, and then lastly our own spiritual lives as expressed through worship. We'll hope that we undercover the ways that Christ is calling all of us to make things a bit more simple.

I'm going off the lectionary here, which is something I thought I would not do this first year at WPBC. But, it seemed that this theme kept coming back to me as a Biblical theme that was really important to the life of our community.

As I've heard from pastoral colleagues, sometimes ideas for sermons come from the strangest of places. For me, the cover art for our bulletin this month (as seen above) is my inspiration for the series. It is actually a postcard that I've kept for years in my office. I received it in 2001 from a fellow summer ministry partner, Ashley.

It was a card of encouragement after the summer we'd spent together, traveling all over the country with only a suitcase to our name. We learned a lot that summer about what we could live with and most defiantly without. Coming home to all my "stuff" was quite a shocker after I lived for the summer with just the basics. When the card came in the mail, it was a great reminder for me as I re-entered the "real world" of everyday tasks of what my priorities really should be. Simplicity could be created wherever I was, I learned.

Folks have always commented on the message of the card as they've visited my office. Through these discussions, I've come to see that countless others struggle with this topic as I do. 

My hope for this month is that all of us will re-consider the best plans that God has for the most commonplace areas of our lives. I'm excited to see where this series of sermons takes us in our efforts to be a different kind of people and community. For there is no reason that we have to keep living out the patterns of American consumerism that says "give me more, more and more."