Welcome to this week’s Blog from the Red Roof Church. My name is Lee Harder and I am the senior pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church of Bulverde, Texas. It is a joy to come to you each week with some thoughts about our culture and our faith walk with the Lord. We do that every Sunday, too, as we proclaim God’s Word from Scripture in our worship celebrations. I would like to invite you to join us this Sunday at 8:30AM for our traditional worship or at 10:45AM for our contemporary celebration. Either way, you won’t go wrong because it is Christ we worship.
This week I thought I would make a few comments on prosperity and how there are some elected persons and others who are of the opinion that a whole generation of people have NEVER experience prosperity in this nation of ours. REALLY?
Apparently, according to some folks here, there is a story going around on the internet from a millennial who is shocked by this incredible idea that her generation has never seen American prosperity. She couldn’t disagree more. She wrote, “We live in the most privileged time in the most prosperous nation and we have become completely blind to it.” Writing further she said, “Vehicles, food, technology, freedom to associate with whom we choose. These things are so ingrained in our American way of life we don't give them a second thought. We are so well off here in the United States that our poverty line begins 31 times above the global average. Thirty. One. Times. Virtually no one in the United States is considered poor by global standards. Yet, in a time where we can order a product off Amazon with one click and have it at our doorstep the next day, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.”
She wrote a lot more which I’m sure will not make points with a great many of her generation or those people in this nation that are constantly down playing and degrading the country as a whole. However, it’s her finish that we need to see as she provides her perspective on “WHY?” this has happened. Let me share it with my gratitude for her courage.
Why? The answer is this, "My generation has only seen prosperity. We have no contrast. We didn't live in the great depression, or live through two world wars, the Korean War, The Vietnam War, or see the rise and fall of socialism and communism. We don't know what it's like to live without the internet, without cars, without smartphones. We don't have a lack of prosperity problem. "We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it's spreading like a plague."
Allow me to add one further, but vitally important point to what she has already said. We also have a God problem or rather the absence of God in our lives problem that is spreading as well. These young people who do not even know the meaning of words like suffering, humility and sacrifice because they are so full of themselves. Those are words that previous generations learned first hand. We learned them because they were a part of their faith relationship with God. We knew who the author of all that we have was, our heavenly Father. The God who suffered for the sins we committed, the God who humbled Himself and took on human flesh so He could show us the way to salvation, and the God who sacrificed Himself on the cross to pay the price of our sins, dying there and rising again three days later taught us the meaning of those words.
These persons, regardless of what generation or social group from which they ungratefully crawled, they are all about themselves and feel that God and a loving relationship with Him is unnecessary.
I call them narcissists. It reminds of a little rhyme I learned some years back. It goes, “I love myself. I think I’m grand and when I go to movies I hold my hand.” Our prosperity as a nation and as a people is a gift from a generous God. If we continue to persist in ignoring Him, casting Him out of our lives, and denying His presence and His generosity, these self-centered, spoiled persons will come to discover that He might feel we are in need of a different kind of entitlement problem, one that shows them they are NOT the center of the universe, theirs or anybody else's. God Is.
I wish there were more with the courage to speak out as she did. We need to hear their voices ring clearly. It gives me hope. And those are my thoughts.
Pastor Lee R. Harder