Return on Investment
by Ray Delcourt
“If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”
Interesting way to start a “Church Article”? Here at Christ Lutheran I wouldn’t think of any of us as the “One Percenters” that you hear about in the media today. At least not monetarily. But I do believe we are the “Lucky One Percenters” in a much different, more valuable way.
Here at CLC we are followers of Christ! First and foremost, number one…He is our Guiding Light. According to ABC news, 83% of Americans consider themselves Christian; “World-Wide” that percentage is only 47%. While those numbers would make it seem that America is still a “Christian” based society, does it mean that we should rest on our laurels? Just listen to the advertisements for various investments. At the end there is this disclaimer that states, “Past results are not indicative of future returns.” I often think of that comment and wonder..YIKES…better not pretend that way things are, is the way they are always going to be. Of course in this case I’m not talking about money, (a strong topic for another day fellow Christians!) but our path in the world today.
How can we share with those in the greater community who we are without them “shutting down” right away? How do we tell of Christ’s great works? How do we explain the idea of Grace? In many cases it is helpful for them to walk in our doors, to feel comfort in the House of the LORD, and then when the SPRIRT moves us- or them- we begin to share as needed. We do so naturally, through our GOD given gifts that all of us have been given, in our own ways. Perhaps it’s in casual conversation at church events, or over coffee and coffee cake (there is still a reason for everything!) on a Sunday morning. Communicating is part of who we are as humans, and communicating with each other is one of GOD’S gifts, so use it!
Still stuck on HOW we invite the community to share in what we know is the Greatest Gift of All? The CLC Stewardship Team feels they have a simple start to that difficult issue- reach out to those around you as often as you can. Be part of the town where you live, pay attention to those around you at work. Embrace the elements of the community and find out where they need help and how YOU can make that difference. (There will be more ideas on how to do this coming in future newsletters, so stay tuned!)
The more we ingrain ourselves in the fabric of the world around us, the more that world becomes us, and the world will begin to look at you as an outreach of Christ’s working. I know you’re thinking, “That’s a bit of a stretch.” NO WAY! Pastor Ledogar was known for years as the Pastor from Christ Lutheran, “The Church by the Mall” (or by JC Penny, I like to say!) for his work in the community! Many of you already do amazing things in Orland Park , surrounding towns, or Chicago itself ( as well as other countries; Hello, Haiti!) When people ask where you are from, tell them Christ Lutheran Church, not Orland Park, Lemont, or Palos. It’s a cool conversation starter! You will be surprised where they tell you they are from, and off you go….the three of you in a conversation, you, them and GOD.
Feel like you are too busy to add one more thing to your “To Do” list? Let me leave you with this challenge: Think of the ways you spend your time and find one thing you do that ISN’T making a difference in the world around you. It may be only a 30 minute thing, and that’s just fine. Take it out of your schedule for one month and use that time to do something in the community that makes a difference for others. (Wait, did he say it is 30 minutes a day? Week? Month? It doesn’t matter- you decide!) Tell no one. Tell everyone. You will know; HE will know. And remember…
“The Human Soul is Capable of Much More Then We Think”