Posted: Mar 20

Living the Christian Life in the 21st Century

By Angela Emerson


I have once again cycled back to one of my favorite books for morning meditation, My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers.  I don’t always agree with his theology but I find his thoughts about the moral and ethical life – the practical implications of what we believe – to be quite compelling. One of his thoughts is that our relationship with God is marked by a separation from those who are often dearest to us; however, the separation is not a physical one but a moral and mental one.  We simply understand the world in a different world and therefore act differently.

fair_trade_usa_logo.jpgI often wonder if others can see God in how I live my life so I spent some time reflecting on the  “practices” that I hope reflect my faith:

  • Having “sharing” (not spending or even saving) as a first priority when it comes to my finances;
  • Choosing “fair trade” foods when I shop especially bananas, chocolate, and coffee;
  • Choosing local foods over imports or products requiring long distance shipping;
  • Composting and recycling;
  • Reducing waste especially food and water;
  • Limit acquisitions of new “stuff” including clothing as I try and discern the difference between need and want. (I laugh as I write this one because I have been busily composing my birthday “wish list”)

Is it enough? No, there is always room for improvement. But I find these practices do indeed help me stay connected to the God that created me, calls me to care for creation, and gives me all that I need to be the person God created me to be. 

The Rev. E. Angela Emerson, Canon for Stewardship and Development, Episcopal Diocese of Vermont.