E-pistle September 17

Why (We Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
 
We live in a “give me” culture. We speak in the imperative with self as direct object. That is, we want what we want and we want it now. Not only do we want it, we are pretty sure that we are entitled to it. Advertisers and politicians, preachers and snake oil salesmen all play to our “give me” culture. And we buy, vote, worship and are suckered because “what’s in it for me?” is question that the message of the day is crafted to answer. 

The “it” in “I want it now” is the variation on the theme that often prevents us from seeing our own captivity to it.  That is, those whose “it” is intellectual stimulation and sophistication easily mock those who are driven by base physical pleasure. Those who shop the mall in search of the perfect thing can’t understand those who wander from church to church, guru to guru in search of the perfect experience.
 
But in the end, too many of us are on the same endless quest of “it” for “me.” And Mick Jagger still speaks for all of us, “(we can’t get no) satisfaction.”
 
Enter the gospel.
 
The gospel makes quick work of our diagnosis. We’ve got it all wrong. The point isn’t getting, it’s giving. Giving is in the very nature of the God who gave his one and only son. And radical giving is at the heart of discipleship.
 
The high calling of the gospel that inspires the stories of the saints and martyrs is also the daily (high) calling of you and me.  We are to give; give up, give away, give to, give for. And we are to be cheerful in our giving. God loves it when we are.
 
God calls us to radical giving. And the amazing thing is that you don’t necessarily have to be a martyr to be a radical giver. You can do it at K-Mart.
 
During the month of August we were given the opportunity to give to the work of Hunting Park Christian Academy, our mission partner in North Philadelphia. You may remember the list. Everything from paper clips to rubber gloves, felt-tipped markers to brooms and dustpans.  Simple things, K-Mart things, that would help HPCA in its mission and ministry to the kids of Hunting Park.
 
You gave. You gave generously, and I’m pretty sure you gave cheerfully. The school year has begun at HPCA and it’s been just a little bit easier for the teachers and the students because of the paper clips and rubber gloves, the felt-tipped markers and brooms and dustpans provided by LPC.
 
Just yesterday, Jen Deane, Director of Development at HPCA dropped by with a thank you to us for our generous (and cheerful) giving. There was a card and a video and we’ve uploaded the video to You Tube and our website. Please click here and then on the video. Notice those back to school supplies.
 
Members of our mission committee got a sneak preview of the video yesterday. One of them responded this way, “Very nice.  Now I can dry my tears of joy and get back to work.  We are so very blessed and it feels so good to give to others who need the help. And the great part about it is that HPCA makes such good use of the resources they are provided.  Makes you want to do whatever you can to assist them.”
 
Turns out that we can get satisfaction. We just have to go about it the gospel way. Getting always starts with giving.