Reading the business section of the newspaper can feel overwhelming and disheartening. Articles ranged from “Recession: Far From Over, Already Setting Records” to “Regional Bank’s Health is Causing New Worries” and “Navigating a Delicate Subject: The Layoff of a Friend.” Only one, “At Ford, a Sense of Survival Despite the Losses Piling Up,” was somewhat encouraging.
You already know the recession’s toll is widening. Perhaps you or a family member has been laid off. Anxiety rises as your retirement funds decrease. Your congregation may be struggling with its mortgage, salaries and mission support. Nor is it comforting to be reminded that many of us have been living beyond our means, depending on credit to support insatiable consumer appetites.
But the greatest tragedy in this economic recession would be the loss of faith and isolation from the community of believers, where God’s abundant mercy in Christ Jesus still flows through the means of grace. Indeed, worse than the loss of financial prosperity would be a retreat from God’s mission and separation from the neighbor who lives in poverty, whether next door or in a distant land.
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© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers