CHURCH CORNER: Listen for voice of abundance

Recently, Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke in Tacoma. A Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 1984, he was the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996. Lois and I lived in Cape Town at that time, in an area called Bishop’s Court, just a long block from his home.

There were a lot of voices being heard in South Africa then. And people only heard the voices they wanted to hear. In apartheid-torn South Africa, Bishop Tutu was a voice of truth and life in a country being stoned by voices of hate and death.

We hear so many voices shouting in our world today. Voices of the world, voices of evil, voices of good. Voices that are often difficult for us to discern. For the voices of the world can sound awfully good. Promising us more and more. “Protecting” us by demonizing the other. Voices that call us to grab what we think we deserve before someone else gets it.

With all the voices shouting in our world today, how do you recognize a different voice, the voice of the good shepherd, Jesus, in your busy life?

We live in a world that so often plays on voices of scarcity. I better get mine before someone else does. That oil is ours, we need it. Build walls, protect us from the others who want what we have.

The gap between scarcity and abundance grows each day as rich and powerful voices preach scarcity and fear, as we long for a voice of hope, a voice of abundant life.

What voice do you hear in your life, the voice of scarcity or the voice of abundance? The voice of scarcity is the world’s voice. The voice of abundance is God’s voice, not a prosperity gospel voice that you might hear on TV, promising you earthly riches, but a voice of true life lived in the abundance of God’s grace and love.

When you look at the world today, what voice informs your view and your life? A voice of scarcity or a voice of abundance? Do you see a barren desert with hopelessly starving people? Or do you see a barren desert blossoming abundantly with manna to feed the hungry?

Do you see an earth running out of resources? Or do you see an earth that can meet everyone’s needs if cared for in different ways? Do you see a table with a small amount of bread? Or do you see an impromptu hillside meal with leftovers to feed the world in abundance?

The question burning in our hearts today should not be, “What’s in it for me?” but “What’s in me for the good of the world?” I guess how you view that depends on which voice you listen to – the voice of scarcity or the voice of abundance. The voice of the world, or the voice of the good shepherd.

Imagine for a moment the super abundance in God. The extravagant abundance in green pastures for all the “sheep” hungry for God. The abundant still waters for people thirsty for true life. Gifts of the one who loves you beyond all understanding that you might live life abundantly.

By Dan Wilson, Hope Lutheran Church

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