Sunday Reflection: Matthew 14:13-21. It’s common in our (Anglican) churches to hear narratives of scarcity. A budget shortfall leads to last minute appeals and difficult choices. We wonder when we’ll have enough time to do the work (Building & ground Maintenance) we care most about instead of the work that’s most urgent. We face shortages of resources and time, and we can often feel pressed and anxious in these conditions of scarcity. Like the disciples in this Gospel story, we may want to send people away to fend for themselves as we recognize the inadequacy of our resources.
And yet, in this situation of scarcity, Jesus offers abundance and hospitality. Instead of turning people away, Jesus invites the crowd to stay and feast in the wilderness. And the disciples—despite their previous fear—are the ones tasked with distributing this blessed feast. Instead of hunkering down and doling out the little they have among themselves, they go out among the crowd and share the delicious plenty that Jesus has provided.
This Gospel story will not magically fix our budget woes or add hours to our days—and yet perhaps it does have some power to free us from our own narratives of scarcity. The story invites us to hope and pray and live toward God’s abundance, not just for our group but for everyone. We’re invited to share what we have and to loosen our grip on the questions of whether we have enough and whether we are enough. And we’re invited to feast on the bread Jesus blesses.
Where do you feel the strain of scarcity right now? Are there places you see God’s abundance? How can we be honest about real need and struggle while also questioning some of our scarcity narratives? How does this discernment work? Joanna Benskin, Sermons that Work.
Vicar’s Note: Last week, St. Mike’s executives met and have discussed our re-opening plan moving to Phase 3 (Diocesan Guidelines) on Sunday, August 23, 2020. So, what is Phase 3 in the Diocesan Guidelines? Here is the link that should give you more detailed information about in-person worship service. https://www.vancouver.anglican.ca/news/diocese-to-enter-phase-iii-for-in-person-gatherings-august-16-2020. We would be happy to hear your suggestions and ideas about moving to Phase 3. Any further questions, please let me know. Thank you! The Venerable Louie Engnan, Vicar.