Sunday, October 12, 2008

Too Big to Fail Me Now

To say I've grown disenchanted with the stock market would be inaccurate, since I never found it particularly enchanting in the first case. But I have been struck by how disillusioning the financial crisis has been; of all the things we've learned to distrust, we should by now be able to trust a bank, shouldn't we?

But we do trust banks--or at least we put our trust in banks, by which I mean we put our money in banks. I've been running across the concept of idolatry quite a lot lately, and I'd been wondering why--have I gotten too obsessed with Facebook? Too distracted by the sales performance of Deliver Us from Me-Ville? Perhaps, but I think being attuned to the concept of idolatry has made me watch this market meltdown a little differently.

Today's sermon from my pastor had to do with the Lord's prayer, especially as pertains to the market. He focused on the phrase "Give us this day our daily bread," which was a good reminder that we trust God, not material institutions, to be our provider. But the notion is so abstract--trusting an unseen God for our everyday needs--that I thought it would make more sense contrasted with another abstract would-be provider. What I learned in the process is that I'd rather be the kind of person whose well-being depends on God than one whose well-being was staked to stocks.

Our Market, which art on Wall Street--
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy dividends come,
Thy interests be done
Throughout the earth, as it is on Wall Street.
Give us this day our daily accrued interest.
Forgive us our debts,
Even as we exploit our debtors.
And lead us not into panic-selling
but deliver us the goods.

And now, for the extended ending:

For yours is our kingdom,
Yours is our power,
Yours is our glory now and forever.

1 comment:

heather said...

Good reality check.
And funny.