People living two hundred years ago could not even imagine how we are living today. And if they could have seen into the future for a glimpse of our way of life, they would have certainly thought, “I would be happy all the time if I could live like that!” Ironically, just the opposite has happened. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Professor Liah Greenfield suggests that the United States and Europe are heading for a mental health crisis of proportions never seen before in history. The reason? Oddly enough, she suggests it is our prosperity and freedom of choice.
“By definition, functional mental illness is illness of unknown biological origins. The constant, systematic increase in its rates of incidence since the 1840s is proof that its origins are not biological. Yet, against all logic, mental-health research focuses exclusively on biology and doesn’t cast a wider explanatory net. The evidence points to a historical and cultural explanation of the increase in incidence rates. Specifically, it suggests that functional mental illness is a characteristic disease of prosperous and secure liberal democracies.” “The West’s Struggle for Mental Health”, Liah Greenfeld, The Wall Street Journal – May 31, 2022
Human beings have always thought that having more material possessions and choices to determine our path to personal happiness is the goal of living. Many have arrived at that point and found the opposite. Instead of thriving, thousands are wondering why they should even get up in the morning. They have realized that the purely material world in the here and now only leads to a “been there, done that” life. We need to be challenged to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. But when we live as though we are the center of the universe, that becomes impossible.
Fifty days after the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, something happened to offer any and every person on the planet the opportunity to step out of themselves and be a part of a movement bigger than human life itself. Christians call that day Pentecost. Without going into detail, it is enough to say that the events which took place constitute God’s most extensive and inclusive invitation to join him in what he is doing in this world. It is an invitation to exactly the opposite kind of life discussed above. It is challenging. It requires sacrifice. In fact, it demands a whole new way of looking at things. But it is eternal. It is good. And above all, it is of God.
Join us for one of our weekend services. The Pentecost invitation might shake up your life in more ways than one. But one thing you can count on, you will always have reason to get up in the morning.
Weekend worship service times: Saturday: 6:00 pm – Sunday: 10:00 am