VIEW FROM THE PULPIT: Avoiding materialism could benefit society

Recently, in commenting on the youth riots in England, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke about “the sickness,” the lack of health in some elements of British society.

Recently, in commenting on the youth riots in England, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke about “the sickness,” the lack of health in some elements of British society.

That “sickness” is not confined only to English society; we see it in other nations as well, a “sickness” born out of rampant materialism, greed, selfishness and a total lack of compassion.

The polarization we see in our society is also part of that “sickness.”

We see it in politics, most recently in U.S. Congress and in our environment, as some want to exploit it for all its worth and others preserve it for posterity.

In thinking about the lack of “health” in our human society, the words of the writer Ron Ferguson come to mind:

“To become aware of the sacramental nature of the cosmos; to be open to the sacramental possibilities of each moment; to see the face of Christ in every person; these are not novel, but their rediscovery is the beginning of our health.”

Sacrament is something of this physical world, which shows us an aspect of the grace and consciousness of God.

God is “no-thing,” if God were, we would be worshipping an idol.

God is consciousness, spirit but as we begin to see the consciousness (God) behind the cosmos (universe), we will begin to honour and respect it as we ourselves are part of it and dependant upon it.

Ferguson goes on to comment on the possibility of finding the presence of God in each moment.

It is only the present moment that we truly have, the past is gone, the future is yet to be, so to find divine consciousness in that moment is to open us up to birthing beauty into the world rather than greed, selfishness and petty party politics.

Seeing the face of Christ in every person would definitely help us treat each other with the compassion so surely needed at this time in our difficult history.

So rather than have materialism and polarization lead us into a realm of fear, greed, falsity, selfishness and hate, let us open ourselves up to the possibility of each moment and the birthing of honesty, integrity, love and compassion – a                              society not always grasping for more but a healthy society willing to see the face and touch of God in all things.

– The Rev. Simon Shenstone is pastor for Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Grand Forks