This being the first Sunday of the month we will be taking up our 2nd Offering for the Local Outreach Fund. We will also be celebrating the Sacrament of Communion.
The Scripture Readings this week are:
- Exodus 16:13-21
- Mark 6:35-44
- Acts 2:44-47
Early Thoughts: They say an army marches on its stomach. They also say that the potluck meal is almost a sacrament in some churches (and given the ancient wisdom that a sacrament is a visible sign of invisible grace I find it hard to argue).
Both the Exodus reading and the Mark reading this week talk about abundant food when everybody thought there was either none, or not enough. And then God shows them there is enough and more. More than once I have heard people fretting that there was not enough food set out on the potluck table and then in the end everybody eats their fill.
There is enough. There is more than enough. Indeed there is abundance.
That is the message of Scripture. There is enough to satisfy AND enough to share (or perhaps only/especially if we share). I don't think we really have a problem of "not enough" in the world. I think we have a poor definition of "enough".
Which brings us back to gratitude. The belief that we have enough, or better yet and abundance, feeds our gratitude and that in turn makes us more likely to offer to others from what we have. An attitude that something is scarce or that we don't have enough (whatever we think enough might mean) makes us less likely to offer to others out of what we have. And let me be clear. The actual countable amount is not the important piece, it is how we feel about the amount that matters.
We know we all need food to live. And we know that there are foods we need for our comfort (I have yet to find a way to move chocolate from this category into the food we need to survive but I keep trying). So we are called to be thankful for the food that sustains our lives. Hopefully, when we are recognizing the giftedness and privilege of the food we have we are moved to ask hard questions about why we have and others do not. We have to ask the stewardship questions.
We give freely when we truly believe we have enough to share. We give cheerfully (and 2 Corinthians 9:7 reminds us that God loves a cheerful giver) when we believe that we are not getting the short end of the stick. We give faithfully when we believe that our gift is helping to accomplish God's mission in the world.
Food can just be a necessity of life. It can also stand for so much more. Where do you find surprising abundance in your life? When were you sure there was not enough only to find excess? And what do we do when that happens?