There are many ways in which our abundance here in America has had a negative affect on the American church as a whole. It transcends denominations (in all but a few cases) and it is probably not noticed by many. As I started to write this, the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears popped into my head. Here we have a cute little girl who stumbles upon a house while she is walking through the forest. She decides to enter the house and finds three bowls of porridge sitting on the table. So she decides to eat the porridge. Unfortunately the first two bowls don’t meet with her approval. The first bowl she tastes is “too hot” and the second is “too cold.” Finally she finds on that is “just right.” And isn’t that how we function here in America a lot? Things have to be “just right.” We are not usually content to wait for something to cool down or watch the water impatiently as we wait for it to boil. It’s a stretch, you say? Here’s another example: temperature. The very moment the air conditioning goes out it is an emergency. “It’s too hot,” we say. For thousands of years, people lived without A/C but now because we are accustomed to it, we are not able to envision life without it. Our standards of comfort in life seem to be on our non-negotiable list. We can’t imagine living without heat or A/C, memory foam pillows and mattress pads, warm food and cold drinks…the list goes on. I do not believe in ascetiscism and I don’t believe that God would have us give up all the measures of comfort in our lives just to ensure we are not experiencing any comfort or joy, but I do believe that God is calling us to serve not the god of comfort, but the God of Comfort. There are many people in this world who would take a bowl of porridge that was starting to mold on the top and eat it thankfully. That bowl of porridge may help them make it one more day in the struggle that is their life. So let us live as Jesus calls us to live and sacrifice our comforts for the benefit of the kingdom of God. Let us give our of our abundance of comfort that others might know of the comfort of God’s provision and that we might remember the provision of God’s comfort.
Goldilocks and Jesus