Proper 18 Year A {6 August 2017} Matthew 14:13-21

I once had a Presbyterian minister preach on ” the myth of scarcity”.  { I attended a Presbyterian church for years before being called ” home ” to The Episcopal Church, but that is another story for another time.}

We Americans still live as if the Myth of Scarcity were a reality. Just look at all the storage units available for rental by people who need room to hold onto their ‘stuff”. In my 41 years of life, I would have never dreamed that there would be an entire industry created around people’s needs to save stuff ” in case I need it later”.

Apparently first-century Jews also bought into this myth. Scripture says that the first disciples of Jesus also bought into the scarcity myth. Check out what He said:

“When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.

When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”

Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.”

They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.”

And he said, “Bring them here to me.”

Jesus said Bring them here.  He was totally unconcerned with the fact that His companions felt that there would not be enough food for everyone.  But think about it: how would such a meager amount of food feed all those people?  Five loaves and two big fish is barely enough to feed a party of eight people; let alone thousands of individuals. The disciples were right to be concerned… or were they?

Scripture says:

“Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.

And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.

And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children”

How many times do we all, myself included, worry that we won’t, or don’t have ‘enough’. How does one define ‘ enough’ in our 21st Century western culture? Too often ,what I define for myself and those whom I love as ” enough” is much more than we need.

Today’s Gospel lesson illustrates that we need to trust that God does and shall provide for all our needs. We should cease worrying about having enough; and trust that God will provide. God’s Abundance totally contradicts this Myth of Scarcity that all of us buy into.

Every Sunday , before we partake of the Bread and Wine; we pray the Our Father. in this prayer we say ” Give us this day our daily bread, acknowledging that God tends to the needs of God’s People.

We are also, as followers of Christ, called to apostolic ACTION .  Part of our responsibility as Christians is to BE Christ’s Hands and Feet here on Earth. As He fed the thousands, we are called to feed others. God promises that there will be enough.

 

In the Name Of The Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Amen.

The Spiritual Practice of ” Purging”

Best Dude and I are due to close on BOTH our current home and the home in town on 31 August.  Providing that Bank issues our small loan, we will officially become Urban Dwellers in three weeks.

It has been a whirlwind of activity in our lives. The current house is all askew— Best Dude painted the wall behind the couch { it had some chips in it from our heavy couch}

This past week I packed most of my clothing— leaving out only the few garments that I need to wear during our remaining time in Unincorporated , Florida.  As I piled clothing  into the PACK  pile , I also created a PURGE  pile. The closets in the three small bedrooms in the new house are small; so small that Best Dude will use the closet in the master bedroom and I shall use the one in our designated home office.

Purging is a necessity when one is moving to al smaller space , but I’ve discovered that purging also is good for the soul. Americans, myself included, collect way too much ‘stuff’ that just gets buried in a closet { or drawer} and/or gets thrown haphazardly into a storage unit. Downsizing into a smaller living space requires me to look at each item of clothing and honestly assess whether or not I will wear it. The same principle applies to shoes– I’ve tossed several pair of worn-out footwear into the trash. Since I am a small woman; my clean and gently used clothing will go to a local thrift store whose profits help feed hungry citizens in Unincorporated, Florida. My shoes were not worth donating, so I filed them into the circular file.

My closet is emptier, but my heart is full.