Rent, Stream, Experience - New Values and the Church (3 of 3)

You may want to catch up to speed by taking 3 minutes to read part two here


It seems silly to me that we have to have science to tell us that experiences bring greater satisfaction than material goods, but thanks science. It is part of the reason why people will go see Santa every year just for a photo. An annual picture with Santa is cute, but 6 decades of Santa pictures is a story.

And this is what makes experiences superior to objects. The story. A story we can tell and share. A story never gets rusty or fades. It is the story that is the result of the experience and while people are seeking experiences, we are all really seeking stories. 

This is where the Christian faith has much to offer with the value of experiences. Christianity at its best is a religion of experiences. Experience God in the birth of a child, experience the transcendent in the corporate singing of a song, experience the Spirit with inspiring preaching, experience the still small voice in prayer. Karl Rahner said, "The Christian of the future will be a mystic, or he will not exist at all." Mysticism is the part of Christianity that values the internal experience of God and it is a part of the faith that is being rediscovered (see St. Mark's in Seattle). 

Christianity is a faith tradition that is not only built on experience of God but also a tradition of story. This is why Christians tell the same stories every year. Much like you would do at your family or friend gatherings, telling stories of the past and using those stories to shape the present. The stories of Jesus shape our present. The stories of God shape our now.

I mentioned in the first post in this series that if Christianity can get our stuff together Christianity can help cultivate these values of rent, stream and experience. Or perhaps we might call them - Stewardship, Justice and Story.