Have you thought about the meaning of our prayer “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? As Christians, it is our goal to actively be seeking ways to bring God’s kingdom to earth. What does that look like in this world? What does that look like for you personally? In his book, Surprised by Hope, Scholar and Theologian, N.T. Wright talks about what we do on earth matters:
“The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbour as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom” (Wright 193).
By living intentionally, we can bring God’s kingdom to earth. This can come in many different forms but one of the ways we can live more intentionally is learning about the things we buy. If you follow the World Missions Department on social media, you would see that we just finished a series about Ethical Consumerism. Throughout this series, we have invited our followers to think about the journey of a t-shirt. It is worthwhile to think about the extensive journey it takes to produce one t-shirt because it makes that article of clothing have so much more value. By taking the time to learn about the things we buy, our relationship with our belongings changes. We can develop a deeper appreciation for them. Although it is unlikely that we will ever become perfect consumers, we can try to find small habits to adopt that will make us better consumers.
Others Trade for Hope is a Salvation Army endeavor mainly based out of Bangladesh and Kenya that provides artisans with an opportunity to make and sell products for a living wage. You can support this by buying products through Trade Central (tradecentral.org). Although most of the products are bought primarily for our enjoyment, not out of necessity, these products would make the perfect gift for someone you needed a gift for anyways!
Simplicity is a powerful virtue to work on incorporating into our lives and culture. Another idea for consuming more ethically is to simply consume less. We can do this by developing habits of borrowing from each other, distinguishing the difference between a want and a need, and buying secondhand.
These are just a couple ways to become a more ethical consumer. The way each person is able to adapt to consume more ethically looks different because we all have different circumstances in life. By committing to change your habits and encouraging other people to join, you are helping bring God’s kingdom to earth.
Learn more about Others Trade for Hope: https://youtu.be/bQH6ougg-78
Learn more about Ethical Consumerism: https://issuu.com/isjc/docs/ethical_consumerism
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