April 26

“Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to me and eat what is good.”  Isaiah 55:2

“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”  John 6:27

We have read accounts of careers, reputations, even personal freedom squandered.  Crazed by wealth and possessions having enough is not enough, nor is having a lot, nor is having more than we can imagine ever spending.  Never satisfied, there MUST be more.  In Luke 12:13-21 Jesus tells a story about a man who obsessed with building bigger barns to hoard his excess.   That night “the fool” would die.  Material obsessions would mean nothing for his soul. 

It’s good to want to do well at our jobs.  It’s normal to want to provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter for our families; and to afford necessities as we age.  It isn’t bad to want to own a dependable car, perhaps travel and learn about other places and peoples, maybe philanthropize if something left over. 

We put away our variety of groceries and produce … with gratitude?  Or indifference?  Statistics vary, but I heard recently that 40% of this cornucopia will go into the garbage.  What is enough?  Last year in Guatemala, after installing a soot-free stove and water filter in a windowless, dirt floor kitchen, the woman offered each of us a small cake and a BOTTLE of clean water.  She does not have enough, but she found a way to share. 

In our Easter sermon we heard Wendell Berry’s challenge to “work for nothing”.  What are you willing to do for nothing – no financial reward or material gain?  For whom?  We have just journeyed with Jesus through Lent, his death and resurrection.  Jesus did not ask “What’s in it for me?” He just gave and gave … his body and his blood …. for us, enough for all … to fill up our souls. 

“You satisfy the hungry heart with gifts of finest wheat. 

Come give to us, O saving Lord, the bread of life to eat.”  Amen

(Prayer text:  Robert E. Kreutz)

Verla Olson