“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
As I prepare Lenten sermons, I’m reminded of a book I read a few years ago: Consumed, by Benjamin Barber.
Long gone are the days when the US economy was built around selling goods like timber, wool and wheat that served actual needs. Marketing professionals now search for new ways to reinvent and recreate goods in order to sell more stuff. Today’s consumerist economy is sustained by creating desires, convincing us to purchase anything from the latest smart phone to a bazillion different kinds of mustard.
I’m especially struck by Barber’s recollection of a time when he purchased bottled water. Bottled water, in a country where clean water flows straight from the tap, is a prime example of a manufactured need. “Over a billion people are without drinking water. ”Why don’t we find out ways to get the water they need to them, instead of new ways of getting water to us?”
About Corey Sharpe
Where do we get our beliefs?
Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology.
From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ.
Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles.
I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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