"...Money is like energy – we feed and grow the place we put it. There are so many places to put our money: places we do want to grow and places we feel trapped to pay. Even as we come together as family to share these spiritual and social meals, there are pressures and influences all around us to feed individuality, consumerism and fear. We can’t escape these tugs on our wallets and calls to our spirits. And still we audaciously, optimistically, gather together, again and again, to do what the first friends and followers of Jesus did – teaching, kinship, breaking bread, and prayer. We live in empire, just like they did, and we gather in the name and spirit of Jesus, just like they did.
2000 years apart, our cultures share an overwhelming feeling of scarcity. We’re fed the fear that we won’t have or be enough. Empire teaches us that scarcity is real because it serves the interest of banks, credit cards, security companies, gun manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, union busters, and peddlers of cheap, disposable crap for us to be afraid and needy.
When Jesus gathered with the multitudes at the Sea of Galilee they were afraid of scarcity, too. Peasants and farmers, they were squeezed between small incomes and hefty taxes, to both Roman Empire and the Temple. They were hungry, without money to go to town and buy food, and we know hunger brings out the worst in most of us. But Jesus inspired a miracle of sharing. His friends and followers trusted him when he asked for their food, and as he lifted it to heaven and showed all the people that there was food coming for them, suddenly the food came pouring forth from all who gathered by the Sea.
We just might not share on our own, not in the midst of scarcity and hunger and worry about tomorrow. But when Jesus lifts high a new reality, five loaves of trust and two fish of hope, we are inspired to open our hands and hearts. Jesus doesn’t turn stones into food or water into wine or call forth manna from heaven. Jesus turns what is already present into more than enough be inspiring the miracle of sharing within each heart by the Sea of Galilee...."