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God’s Abundance and the Myth of Scarcity: Revisiting Walter Breuggemann’s Teaching

The text this weekend is the story of Jesus’ first miracle in John 2:1-11. Mary prompts Jesus to fix the embarrassing situation at the wedding and he transforms water into wine. This is the first sign of God’s kingdom.

I think this story is a sign of God’s abundance. It is contrasted with next week’s story where Jesus cleanses the temple because the rich and powerful were extorting the poor.

These thoughts of abundance drew me back to Walter Breuggemann’s teaching from 1999. Read the whole article here. It’s worth your time.

Here is an important quote from the middle of it:

“The conflict between the narratives of abundance and of scarcity is the defining problem confronting us at the turn of the millennium. The gospel story of abundance asserts that we originated in the magnificent, inexplicable love of a God who loved the world into generous being. The baptismal service declares that each of us has been miraculously loved into existence by God. And the story of abundance says that our lives will end in God, and that this well-being cannot be taken from us. In the words of St. Paul, neither life nor death nor angels nor principalities nor things — nothing can separate us from God.

What we know about our beginnings and our endings, then, creates a different kind of present tense for us. We can live according to an ethic whereby we are not driven, controlled, anxious, frantic or greedy, precisely because we are sufficiently at home and at peace to care about others as we have been cared for.”

May we live in God’s abundant ways today.

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