In the Gospel lesson today Peter is confronted about his perception of reality. Jesus has to suffer, and face death. Peter can’t imagine that reality. Today we are talking about another God reality. It may sound strange, and out of touch to many. I believe that is because we have been programmed to think in a certain way. My perception was totally changed by reading a book called “The Soul of Money” by Lynne Twist. She talks about three assumptions that we have about resources:
“greed and fear of scarcity are programmed; they do not exist in nature, not even in human nature. They are built into the money system in which we swim.” And “Adam Smith’s system of economics could more accurately be described as the allocation of scarce resources through the process of individual greed.”
Twist goes on to talk about three Scarcity myths: 1) there’s not enough; 2) More is better; and 3) “That’s just the way it is. I’m sure many would dismiss her concepts as out of touch. Could it be possible there is enough for all? They might quote “Origin of the Species” and point toDarwin’s concept of the “survival of the fittest.” The only problem isDarwin’s theories have much more to do with cooperation and mutuality as tools of survival. He mentions the survival of the fittest concept once in passing. It was an economist who held up this concept as a normal and inescapable part of life. He was describing economic systems. It turns out he was wrong. Companies that cooperate with others are more profitable, not less.
The Psalmist today lays out an extremely different world reality. God opens God’s hand and “satisfies the desires of every living thing.” Helle Goddick recently posted on Facebook that her great grandfather fed 19 people, that her grandfather fed 24, and that she now feeds 155. Less than two percent of Americans call themselves farmers, yet they are producing much more food than every before in human history. Modern technology has made it possible for us to grow more food than the world needs. Why do some starve? Distribution. In theUSwe use the majority of our grain to feed animals. We are also using our beautifulWillametteValleyfarm land to grown nursery plants and grass seed for suburbia.
On the other hand, stop into the church office some morning and meet the people who are desperate for aid. How can there be enough? On a personal level it comes down to stopping the tendency to acuminate more and more. Look at your life and try to concentrate on your abundance.
Quotes for the Week
The happiest and most joyful people I know are those who express themselves through channeling their resources – money, when they have it – on to their highest commitments. Theirs is a world where the experience of wealth is in sharing what they have, giving, allocating, and expressing themselves authentically with the money they put in flow.
Lynne Twist, “The Soul of Money”
Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.
Advertising is an environmental striptease for a world of abundance.
“Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden, menacing the other vegetables.”
1st Lesson Psalm 145: 10-18
All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your faithful shall bless you. 11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power, 12 to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds. 14 The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Gospel Lesson Mark 8:31-35 (The Message)
Jesus then began explaining things to them: “It is necessary that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and found guilty by the elders, high priests, and religion scholars, be killed, and after three days rise up alive.” Jesus said this simply and clearly so they couldn’t miss it.
32-33But Peter grabbed him in protest. Turning and seeing his disciples wavering, wondering what to believe, Jesus confronted Peter. “Peter, get out of my way! Satan, get lost! You have no idea how God works.”
34-37Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?
38“If any of you are embarrassed over me and the way I’m leading you when you get around your fickle and unfocused friends, know that you’ll be an even greater embarrassment to the Son of Man when he arrives in all the splendor of God, his Father, with an army of the holy angels.
Questions for the Week
Do you have enough?
How might our lives change if we were to view what we have been given as enough?
Do you know any of the farmers who supply you with food each day?