October 22, 2007

Looking Ahead to October 28 -- 22nd Sunday After Pentecost

The Scripture Readings for this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Joel 2:18-27
  • Psalm 65 (see back of bulletin)
  • From the Gospel: Luke 18:9-14

The Hymns this week are:

  • 222 Come, Let Us Sing
  • 227 For the Fruit of All Creation
  • 299 Teach Me, God, to Wonder
  • 312 Praise with Joy the World’s Creator

The sermon title is A World of Abundance

Early Thoughts: How do you see the world? When you look around do you notice the things you lack or the things you have in abundance? How does what you see affect how you act?

Each of us has a choice. We can look at the world through a lens set to see abundance or through a lens set to see scarcity. And those lenses really do change what we see. It is sort of like the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. The optimist sees a pile of manure and gets excited--there just must be a horse around. A pessimist looks at the same pile and only sees a lot of messy, smelly, tiring work.

Some days it is very hard to see the abundance. Sometimes our lives seem to be nothing but scarcity. Certainly the advertising industry would like us to believe that. "If you only have ______ you will be happy" they say. The ads we see every day continually tell us that we are lacking something.

And of course sometimes life throws us a curve that makes it really easy to become convinced not only of scarcity now but ongoing times of scarcity. Say, for example, the closing of a major employer.

The people Joel was speaking to understood this. They were dealing with a famine. WHen you have no food life is hard. But all of a sudden Joel promises that they will know a time of great abundance. I wonder how easy it was for them to believe it?

Our faith story promises us life, and that in abundance. The challenge is to see what we have in abundance each and every day. The Global Rich List tells us that we are all recipients of more abundance than we know ($28 000 annual income puts one in the top 10%). We can, if we choose,look at the world and see great abundance. We can, look past the scarcity messages (and realities). And we benfeit when we do that.

How we view the world affects how we interact with the world. When we look around and see that things are scarce our common reaction is to hold tightly to what we have and to fight strongly to get more. But when we look around and see great abundance we atuomatically feel more inclined to share the wealth. WE end up being happier, more at ease, more relaxed. Living life in a scarcity mode is tense and worrisome. Living in an abundance mode makes it easier to deal with what life throws at us.

We will nto always have everything we want. Sometimes we won't always have what we need. But we still can choose to focus on what we lack or on what we have in abundance. What choice will you make?

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