Keep it simple

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Great thoughts from great Christians”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and all the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:37-40 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Simple is better”
 
Jesus was the great simplifier. It was one of the things people found so compelling about Him. Ancient Judaism under the Pharisees was a very complex system of rules, regulations, traditions, and expectations. Entire volumes had been written to describe it, and religious professionals spent their lives trying to understand, explain, and enforce it. But Jesus boiled it all down to two things, love God and love people. Do that, and everything else will be covered.
 
Modern Christianity has become pretty complicated too. Especially church life. Churches get competitive, and Pastors feel great pressure to match the programs and results of competing churches. That often results in churches attempting to offer long menus of programs and activities just because other churches do, and church members feel pressure to show themselves to be good church members by participating in all of it. It can become complicated, labor intensive, and exhausting for everyone.
 
Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger are leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention. Some years ago, they led a revolution. It was a simple revolution. More precisely, it was a revolution in favor of simplicity, and therefore against complexity in church life. They encouraged pastors and churches to resist the competitive nature of church life; pay less attention to what others are or are not doing; and instead, do only the things and have only the programs that are right and good for your unique congregation. In their book “Simple Church” they wrote:
 
“In the midst of all the noise, all the rush, all the change, all the busyness, and all the uncertainty (of life), people long for simplicity. Precisely because things are so hectic and out of control people respond to simple. The busyness and complexity of life makes simple a great commodity, something desired.” They continue: “Simple is in. Complexity is out – out of style at least … people are hungry for simple because the world has become much more complex … Simple is in. Simple works. People respond to simple. The simple revolution has begun.”
 
What’s true in church life is also true for life in general. Simple is better than complex. Life is hard enough, let’s not make it more complicated than it needs to be. If we can do it simpler and easier, then let’s. Jesus was the Great Simplifier and we should strive for simple too. Yes, simple is better.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim   
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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