Contentment

Life Notes—October 1, 2009 

“But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…” 1 Timothy 6:9-10a                                   

Well, I am glad I’m not rich enough to fall into the temptations and traps described by Paul in his first letter to Timothy!  Those people, at least those who get caught, end up in jail.  They are publicly disgraced, their greedy sins plastered all over the news—they get exactly what they deserve.  Wow, what a relief to not be that rich! 

Actually, though, Paul doesn’t make a distinction between levels of richness. He is referring to a state of mind more than a state of checkbook.  It is those who want to be rich who fall into temptation, not just those who are already rich.  And it is the love of money, not the possession of money that is the root of all kinds of evil.  So, let me get this straight: I can actually be poor, or something less than ‘rich,’ and still be plunged into ruin and destruction if my desire for more is not controlled?  I think that’s exactly the truth the passage reveals.  It is our desires that doom us; it is our level of contentment with what we possess that is the issue, not simply what we possess.  How we manage our desires matters.  I could be sharing a cell with Bernie Madoff… 

The verse before those above says, “…there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment…”  There’s the ‘c’ word—contentment, being satisfied with what we have already received.  The passage continues, “…for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.”  Somehow I doubt many of us today will find contentment with just food and clothing, but can we find contentment with something less than we already have?  Can we find joy in sharing more and hoarding less?  Can we help ease someone’s suffering by sharing a portion of our excess?  We certainly can’t take it with us… 

This will be a special Sunday at Life Worship.  It marks the first anniversary of our transition from the mid-morning service in the sanctuary to the Life Service in Brady Hall.  It has placed us in an intimate space to worship our God and I am thankful.  My daughter, Grace, will be playing cello on ‘Over the Rainbow’ for communion–a beautiful backdrop for the receiving of communion.  Please join us at First Church this Sunday.  Tom’s sermon title is, “When Dreams Become Nightmares.”  The scripture reading is 1 Timothy 6:3-10.  Life Worship begins at 10:45.  Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary.  Contemporary worship begins at 9:30 at the west campus. 

Come home to worship this Sunday!

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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