The Spiritual Cliff

Life Notes—January 3, 2013 

“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”  Ezekiel 36:26 

Much has been made in the past weeks of the ‘fiscal cliff,’ with warnings of higher taxes, return to recession and all manner of doom and gloom.  In the past 48 hours, much has also been made of the ‘heroic’ efforts of national officials for their efforts in steering our nation away from this cliff.  Of course, the fiscal cliff has not really been avoided, but our progress towards it has apparently been slowed, at least for a time.

Money is the lifeblood of our government and economy.  Without sufficient funding, the government can neither adequately provide the services we have all come to depend upon, like national security and interstate highways, nor fund other services counted on by many, such as food stamps, healthcare and pensions.  Money to fund the government comes primarily from two sources—taxes paid and, increasingly common of late, borrowing.  Without a sufficient flow of its lifeblood—money—the government cannot continue to function, so it faces three undesirable and difficult choices—increase taxes, decrease spending or borrow more money.  Obviously, there are degrees of undesirability for each of these options and no consensus on which degree of each is best.  The current fiscal cliff was created some time ago by a convergence of expiring tax cuts, mandatory spending reductions, and a legal limit on the government’s ability to borrow money.  Combined, they threaten the life of our government by restricting its lifeblood.

But that is government.  What about individual lives?  Is there a spiritual cliff looming ahead of us?  Many would answer with an emphatic “Yes!” and for many different reasons.  If we believe our individual lifeblood is the Spirit then we can draw a spiritual analogy to the fiscal cliff.  We all require a two-way flow—a relationship, if you will—with the Holy Spirit.  By its flow through us we are animated and sustained.  There are ways we can increase that flow—through worship, study and prayer.  Likewise, there are ways the Spirit flows out of us—stress, anxiety, poor health habits, to name a few.  We can borrow “Spirit” from others sometimes, from those generous souls who love and support us.  But at some point we, like our government, must establish a healthy balance between the inflow and outflow of our lifeblood.  If your life seems to be trending downward, maybe you’ve gotten a little too close to the edge of the spiritual cliff…

Tom will preach downtown where Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Mitch returns to the west campus where worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.  His sermon title is “Covenant, Part 1,” based on Genesis 9:8-17.  Communion will be served at all worship services.

Come home to church this Sunday.  Step away from the edge and refill your spiritual cup.

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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