Dear Friends in Christ:
This weekend - today, in fact - was supposed to be a joy-filled one as my family came together with my church family to celebrate Molly Claire's baptism in worship. The fact that it is not happening how we planned makes me sad. Instead, here we all are this morning scattered throughout our community and left looking at screens instead of a cross and a flower arrangement, searching for some good news in the midst of life's cancelled plans.
Like you, I have been looking for the Good News this week - for reminders that God is still at work in the world when the news reports are grim and we are separated from our people. That search for God's light led me back to Mike Mather’s book called, Having Nothing, Possessing Everything, which is a text I mentioned a few weeks ago in worship. Mathers and the congregation he pastors in urban Indianapolis made a change to how they think about mission. Instead of looking around and seeing only scarcity in their economically challenged corner of the city, they began to look for places of abundance in the people and community they served.
Of course, this idea of seeing abundance rather than scarcity is not an original one. In fact, today’s scripture reading is a story about that very thing. The disciples see a crowd of people and worry that their basket with its meager helping of bread and fish will not be enough to feed them all. Jesus though, Jesus looks at that same basket and he sees
Jesus sees an abundance.
And he teaches his disciples to see that same abundance too.
I think now is a time for us all to learn that same lesson — to look for abundance in a time of scarcity. To be sure, our hearts ache in the midst of this season of scarcity we are in, and it is important for us to continue to name our emotions and be honest with how we are feeling. BUT in the midst of scarcity, we must also look for those places of abundance in our lives — those things that fill us with joy and that remind us of God’s abundant love for all God's children. For me, one of those abundances is you all and the fact that although we worship our Creator God at home this day, we are all reading the same scripture, we are all listening to the same word, and we are all praying the same prayer together in Spirit. So friends enjoy worship this week as we feel God’s abundant love together.
See you all soon enough,