Thankful For Your Abundance
Last year in June, Terri and I visited Antigua together for the first time. We were doing some discernment about possibly retiring here, serving St. Alban's, and settling down. We began to look around for places to rent to get an idea about prices, locations, etc. We talked to a couple of realtors and saw a place or two, but nothing made an impression. So we said to ourselves: if we do this, God will have to take the lead. God did.
We found a website with many different properties for rent, at all price levels, and began to narrow the list down. Terri put a star next to one of them and we got in touch about the property. After a couple of months, with a few roadblocks (like having a dog), we ended up approved to rent the property. We looked at the pictures perhaps a hundred times, and arrived at night 3 weeks ago to really see the property for the first time. We didn't even know what we were doing, but God did. It was much more than we expected!
Our God is a God of abundance- abundant life! Abundance is the key word in our passage from Ephesians:
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen!
I've titled this homily: Thankful For Your Abundance. It can be understood two ways: Thankful to God for the abundance he's provided us, or, each one of us thankful for his or her abundance.
In King David's case, he had everything that a man could want: power, money, and multiple wives. Yet, he wasn't content with all that. He wanted more. He lusted for Beersheba and in order to have her, had to arrange the death of Uriah, her husband, in battle. Even God's chosen can sin in a big way and God continues to use them, because, afterall, it's God power working in us, or him, in David's case, that accomplishes God's will.
Like David, we too have a problem recognizing abundance. Our society programs us to think "scarcity" even when there isn't. You've got to get something you need, even when you don't really. It's always hard to trust that there will be enough, so we fear that we will run out of resources, time, etc. Capitalism itself is founded not on a theory of abundance, but on the theory of scarcity: there's only a limited amount of goods, that are made available at what ever cost the market will bear. There is never the thought that God has, in ordering creation, provided enough, an abundance, for everyone.
There's the classic story of two children playing in a room full of toys. When one child picks up a toy and enjoys playing with it, the other child begins to desire the same toy. the two children begin to fight over the toy.
Whether it's manna or the loaves and fishes, there's always enough for everyone when we allow God's power to work in us. If we don't believe this, we'll continue to be in trouble and have problems, divided hearts, and wars. No real, lasting peace.
It shouldn't go unrecognized that when Jesus asks his disciples what resources they had to feed the great crowd, they were silent and empty-handed. Only a child, with child-like trust, comes forth with the loaves and fishes. In Jesus' hands this is enough to feed everyone and still have some left over.
The question that we are left with is this: will we be like the disciples and continue to worry about scarcity, or, become like the little child, and, with child-like faith, present what we have for God to use to do good in this world? We will let God's love provide enough to make us satisfied, and let us recognize the abundance God has provided for us, so we can share with others? This is where peace, joy, and abundant living in God, is experienced!