Dear Fellow Followers of Jesus,
I recently came across a prayer/poem of Walter Brueggemann. It begins:
“On our own, we conclude: there is not enough to go around, we are going to run short of money, of love, of grades, of publications…” (1)
We are living in a time of “shrinkflation.” We see packaging change to accommodate smaller amounts for which we pay more. Wages are not keeping pace with cost of living and interest rate increases. We are all feeling the pinch. How are we, as Christians, as believers in God’s goodness and generosity supposed to respond to our anxieties about the future?
Should we as Brueggemann writes: seize the day, seize our goods, seize our neighbour’s goods because “there is not enough to go around”? Perhaps we glibly assure each other that all will be well. Or perhaps we quietly and stoically poke another hole in our belts and tighten once more.
How do we face the encroachments to what we believe the Word teaches? How do we counter the shrinkflation of our financial situation? Brueggemann again reminds us that “in the midst of our perceived deficit you come, you come giving bread in the wilderness, you come giving children at the 11th hour, you come giving homes to exiles, you come giving futures to the shut down, you come giving Easter joy to the dead, you come – fleshed in Jesus.” And so, “by your giving, break our cycles of imagined scarcity, override our presumed deficits, quiet our anxieties of lack, transform our perceptual field to see, the abundance . . . mercy upon mercy, blessing upon blessing.” Can we keep on keeping on, trusting Jesus’ words about His presence and protection? Walking into each new day with its deficiencies and needs, knowing that our God will supply all our needs according to His riches? Does He truly own the cattle on a thousand hills?
Brueggemann again: “Sink your generosity deep into our lives, that your muchness may expose our false lack that endlessly receiving we may endlessly give, so that the world may be made Easter new, without greedy lack, but only wonder, without coercive need but only love, without destructive greed but only praise, all things Easter new . . . all around us, toward us and by us, all things Easter new.”
I pray for us as a Fellowship that we can boldly go into an unknown future led by a known Saviour, a loving Father who sees all and knows all, accompanied by the Holy Spirit of Jesus, God with us, Emmanuel.
(1) Inscribing the Test: Sermons and Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, 3-4.