Monday, July 20, 2009

The God of surpluses

You've probably heard or read the word "surplus" very little lately in the media, even in the church. We're fixated on budged deficits. At the federal, state, local levels. In our personal, fiscal lives. In our churches or other houses of worship.

There's just not enough money or food or time or whatever it is to go around. So, hold back. Cut back. Conserve your precious, limited resources. Stock your cellar with canned goods and bottled water. In fact, go to your cellar now, because the sky really is falling.

It's time for everyone to fixate somewhere else for awhile, even always. And that's on God.

God reminded me of my need to refocus--off fear--this morning during Morning Prayer and in my reading and study both of the gospel lesson for today, Mark 4.1-20, and in my reading ahead for my sermon this Sunday, John's account in 6. 1-21 of Jesus' feeding of the crowd.

Feeding--or, more broadly, God's meeting our needs as people, as citizens, as the followers of Jesus Christ--comes through faith in God who loves us and by acting in faith.

Faith--I'm continuing to learn, as I did in my prayer with Scripture this morning-- releases God's power to act upon us, within us, through us in the world.

To borrow from the Mark reading this morning, God takes that tiny seed, His word of assurance to us that He loves and cares for us, that word which is received by us in faith, and God makes the word root and grow and bear abundance. That abundance more than meets our needs, whatever they are, however great they are, with a surplus left over.

I rejoice that my God is a God not of deficit thinking and acting, but a God of surplus thinking and acting.

And in His word to me today, I hear Him say, Ken, stop living in fear. Live in faith. Focus on me, not on fear; on my surplus, not on your deficit.

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