July 29, 2008

Looking Ahead to August 3, 2008 -- 12th Sunday After Pentecost

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Isaiah 55:1-5
  • Psalm 17 (VU p.739)
  • Matthew 14:13-21

The Hymns this week are:

  • #222 Come Let Us Sing
  • #299 Teach Me, God, to Wonder
  • #235 O Worship the King
  • #422 God Be With You till We Meet Again

The Sermon Title is Amazing Abundance.

Early Thoughts: What do we do about our scarcity? There us isn't enough, how do we deal with that? Or is there an abundance in our midst?

They could be forgiven for having no hope. After all, they were living in exile, a defeated and enslaved people whose land and temple had been destroyed. And to these people God speaks through Isaiah saying:

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price...Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
In the midst of the lives of scarcity, shattered dreams, and despair God speaks of abundance and promise and hope.

There was no choice. They had no food and the crowd was large. Obviously the people needed to be dismissed to go find sustenance. But instead Jesus says "give them something to eat". Jesus counters the apparent, obvious, scarcity with amazing, astounding abundance.

One of the biggest hurdles we have to leap over in today's world is the recurrent voices that tell us we live in a condition of scarcity. These voices impact us as individuals, as families, and as communities of all sizes and types. When we believe that scarcity drives our lives it skews our view of the world. It shapes what we think is possible. It shapes what we think is important. It shapes our priorities.

But the witness of Scripture calls us over and over again to think of the world as a place of abundance. Scripture reminds us that the abundance is found through trusting in God and God's time. Scripture reminds us that there is enough, and more, we just have to learn to look for it.

What would it mean to look on the world through eyes that see abundance? What would it mean to name the scarcity story as a myth? What would it mean if we re-defined what we mean by enough?

These are the question we need to explore as we look for the path that takes us forward into peace and prosperity (another word that may well need redefining) as individuals and church congregations and communities. Come join us on Sunday as we begin, or continue, that exploration.

And for a wonderful poem (which will likely be shared on Sunday) on the topic check out this link

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