When least expected,
Like a burst of lightning in a moonless desert night
-Azriel Yakov, Manna
Manna seems a strange place to begin thinking about money. But maybe we can’t think about money until we have remembered the surprising generosity so often seen in the Scripture stories about God:
Manna and quail and sweet water in the desert;
Jesus encountering people as they are and challenging them to carefully sift through their alliances;
The early church sharing everything in common, breaking bread together across social boundaries.
Over the last month or so we’ve been asking the question of how we, as a community together, form habits and practices that mean that we don’t just know about God’s goodness intellectually, but in the everyday decisions we make. How do we trust God in the tangible, material fabric of our lives? What would it look like for Hope Uniting to live out of the surprising reality of God’s generosity and abundance? We’re going to need to find ways of answering these questions together.
One of the things I forgot to do on Sunday was to share this week’s challenge to help us think through living out of God’s abundance. Never fear, here it is for you to think about (and perhaps even participate in!).
This week I’m going to explore God’s abundance by…
· Making the dishes a time of prayer;
· Picking one night of the week to turn off the Screen and stop being bombarded by stuff: no tv, no computer, no iPad etc.;
· Buying nothing new throughout week;
· Praying these words each morning:
” Lord, make us more thankful for what we have received;
make us more content with what we have;
and make us more mindful of other people in need. Amen.”
As we live in awareness of God’s abundance this week, may we be aware of God’s presence. And perhaps someone else will experience manna falling through the generosity that we share. In the ending words of Azriel Yakov’s poem:
“And when the manna falls,
Descend and gently
It’s been a day of significant steps for Hope Uniting Church.
And I’m feeling tired and excited at all the possibilities before us. Our next Newsletter published (great work Myrle), a big financial hurdle crossed, our website nearing full readiness and some important planning discussions around the community garden.
Down the road Nesto is grinding out the coffee and the Federal candidates are hovering around the pre-polling station like cats on a hot tin roof. The AA group has come and gone from the rooms behind me, but the Irish lilt of Patrick still hovers in the air.
There is undoubtedly a bustling energy around at the moment. Perhaps a sense of spring come a few days early?
It is indeed a turning of the seasons. But far more than just the budding plants, it is God’s wild and loving Spirit inviting us into something new! It is a new season and I pray that we might have the ears to hear and the eyes to see it.