“Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as the wanted.”
(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
There’s this thing called the scarcity mindset. That somehow there isn’t enough.
Not enough money, or food, or material goods, or promotions, or good things. Have you ever felt this way?
“we believe that there is a scarcity of good things in the universe. And that belief makes us kind of small and scared and unable to feel true joy for others or peace for ourselves.When a friend, or God forbid, a frenemy, mentions that she’s received a promotion at work, her son won an award at school, she’s just bought her third vacation home, or recently lost ten pounds…how do we feel?
I know we say we feel happy for her, but how do we really feel? I think sometimes we really feel a little panicked. Like a determined bride at one of those terrifying Filene’s Basement wedding dress sales, we feel like our friend’s news means that now we have to run a little faster, push a little harder and get more aggressive in general. Because we think if our friend’s family is getting extra money, approval, admiration, and general blessings…that must mean there are fewer of those things less left over for our family. …
Like an author I love wrote, “some of us believe that there is a ‘cosmic pie’ and a bigger piece of goodness for you means a smaller piece for me.”
Today’s Gospel is a reminder of what God does when we come to him with our lives fully engaged in this mindset.
God takes it and transforms it into abundance.
We don’t need to keep fighting for a bigger piece of pie – because God has created an unlimited pie, that is big enough for everyone – with leftovers.
What you have is enough- because you have God.
Who you are is enough – because you are a child of God.
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. Have you ever felt like there’s not enough? Have you ever felt like there’s not enough “pie” when someone else gets something good? (when/how?)
2. Have you ever felt this scarcity mindset apply to your faith? That God’s grace is somehow not big enough for you or for someone else? (when/how?)
3. What do you think it would take for you to live in a mindset of abundance, instead of scarcity?
A miracle occurred in today’s text, not because Jesus made bread and fish appear out of thin air, but because a little boy was willing to give his meager offering to Jesus in the first place. Jesus can take anything, even the things we look at as not enough, and turn them into abundance.
Think about what you can bring to Jesus (time, talent, treasure) – no matter how small, and offer it up this week.