Making room for love

Pastoral Messages | February 11, 2020

One of my favorite phrases I learned in seminary is that “God’s economy is not about scarcity.” For the life of me, I could not remember the theologian who first penned these words. And so, curiosity led me to the internet, and Google produced a thought-provoking article from Walter Brueggeman “The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity.” In it, Brueggeman writes:

“Whether we are liberal or conservative Christians, we must confess that the central problem of our lives is that we are torn apart by the conflict between our attraction to the good news of God’s abundance and the power of our belief in scarcity – a belief that makes us greedy, mean and unneighborly. We spend our lives trying to sort out that ambiguity.”

The Gospel of Jesus, the creation recorded in Genesis, and the numerous Psalms of praise present us with a narrative that contrasts our own greed and selfishness. We need to be reminded of these things. They are the rootedness of our very identity as Christians and people of the Word.

On February 16, our Sunday morning learning for kids and youth (and their adults) will have their own kind of sabbath – a rest from the typical rhythm of learning life here at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Instead of individual classes in separate classrooms, all will gather in Fellowship Hall for a brief discussion of God’s abundant love followed by a dispersal of kids and their families to various spaces on the lower level of our building that represent different expressions of care, prayer, and love that can be worked into our everyday lives.

Beth Laureijs will talk about a calm approach to transitions in “Angels out the door again,” Pastor Sara Olson-Smith will make use of car rides as a time for caring conversation, Andy Langdon will introduce resources for family devotions, Pastor Hayden Kvamme will share his bedtime blessing routine, John Weter will grace us with some of his favorite mealtime prayers, and I will demonstrate one of my favorite spiritual disciplines: doodling!

It’s a complex world out there with a lot of bad news in it. But God’s economy is not about scarcity – it’s about abundance. Let’s try and remember together on Sunday the good God that we worship, the good creation we dwell in, and the Good Book that shapes our lives.

-Kendra Thompson, pastor of children and family life

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