Holy Week: On Generosity
On our own, we conclude:
that there is not enough to go around
we are going to run short
we should seize the day
seize the goods
seize our neighbor’s goods
because there is not enough to go around.
And in the midst of our perceived deficit:
You come giving bread in the wilderness
You come giving children at the 11th hour
You come giving homes to exiles
You come giving futures to the shut-down
You come giving Easter joy to the dead
You come—fleshed in Jesus.
And we watch while
the blind receive their sight
the lame walk
the lepers are cleansed
the deaf hear
the dead are raised
the poor dance and sing.
and we take food we did not grow and
life we did not invent and
future that is gift and gift and gift and
families and neighbors who sustain us
when we do not deserve it.
It dawns on us—late rather than soon—
that “you give food in due season
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
By your giving, break our cycles of imagined scarcity
override our presumed deficits
quiet our anxieties of lack
transform our perceptual field to see
the abundance … mercy upon mercy
blessing upon blessing.
Sink your generosity deep into our lives
that your muchness may expose our false lack
that endlessly receiving, we may endlessly give,
so that the world may be made Easter new,
without greedy lack, but only wonder
without coercive need, but only love
without destructive greed, but only praise
without aggression and invasiveness …
all things Easter new …
all around us, toward us and
all things Easter new.
Finish your creation … in wonder, love, and praise. Amen.
Walter Brueggemann / Columbia Theological Seminary chapel service / September 26, 2002