Greetings to you, and peace, from the One who is, and was, and is to come!
My favorite class in seminary was called “God and Money,” taught by professor emeritus, Harvey Cox. He was using the class to workshop ideas for his book The Market as God (which I absolutely recommend – it’s written for the layperson so no need for a religion or econ degree to understand it). A brief description of the book: “The Market comes complete with its own doctrines, prophets, and evangelical zeal to convert the world to its way of life. Cox brings that theology out of the shadows, demonstrating that the way the world economy operates is neither natural nor inevitable but shaped by a global system of values and symbols that can be best understood as a religion. Drawing on biblical sources, economists and financial experts, prehistoric religions, Greek mythology, historical patterns, and the work of natural and social scientists, Cox points to many parallels between the development of Christianity and the Market economy.”
It then came as no surprise to me that our worship theme for the stewardship season, “Our Money Story” is grounded in the idea that typically, our money stories shape our relationship to God, so the task before us is to instead let our relationship with God shape our relationship with money.
We all have money stories – memories of childhood allowances and lemonade stands, overhearing parents’ anxiety about how they’ll pay the bills, the stress of making rent on your first ever apartment; some of us were perhaps taught to avoid taking on debt no matter what, and others taught about a cycle of leveraging assets to take on debt in order to acquire more assets. Our relationship to money shows up in many other non-monetary areas of our lives, as we’ll discover over the course of our stewardship series.
Join us this Sunday at 11am in the Sanctuary and on YouTube, to dip our toes into the theme of money stories through worship, song, and prayer. You’ll be glad you did.
Image credit: The Wall Street bull in stained glass, from the cover of The Market As God, by Harvey Cox