From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 10th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

My goodness am I ever tired. As many of you know, we had our joint yard sale yesterday with some of our renter groups, and I almost forgot just how much work goes into a event such as this. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t in any way think that this was a waste of time or energy, I’m just saying it was a lot of work. I did really enjoy seeing the community out for this event, seeing many familiar faces and some new ones, and just providing a means for people to connect and donating stuff to a good cause. Still, I’m pretty tired. Even just the initial collecting of the things to sell was a lot.

Trust me, my wife and I recently (well, mostly my wife) went through our crawl space and the sheer amount of stuff that we amassed over the years is staggering. I know I like having things, but I don’t know if I realise just how much things I have.

But it’s sometimes hard to get rid of these things. It’s tough to let go of something that… I don’t know… might come in handy in the future. It difficult to admit that we don’t need so much and that we can find satisfaction in other (not as cluttering) areas in life.

Like in relationship, community, and the connection that we have with others in our serving and being.

That’s not to say that we shouldn’t have anything. But it is to say that maybe we don’t need everything.

Here are the readings for next week:
Isaiah 55:1-5
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21

Two things struck me as I read these passages. The first is in the Isaiah reading, where Isaiah poses the question to the Israelites, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?”. This struck me as I reflected on how much stuff showed up at our yard sale, and how much stuff was crammed into our actually decently sized crawl space. Are we satisfied with these things? If so, why do we keep getting more?

And then the other thing that struck me was from the story of the feeding of the 5000. We all know this story of how Jesus fed everyone starting with just 2 fish and 5 things of bread, and how after everyone had their fill, there were still 12 baskets of leftovers. Now that sounds to me like a bunch of satisfied people if there was that much extra food (either that or the food just didn’t taste that good).

So in contrasting these two things, I wonder what fill us, brings us joy, and truly gives us life. While we like to have things (and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that), what I think we need in our lives is more than possessions. But we need relationship, community, and connection.

This isn’t always easy especially in this area that we live in that is known as one of the most unfriendly spots in our country, but I think it’s important for us and our mental health to keep it in mind. That not only can we look for connections with our neighbours and those around us, but we also be the connections that they seek.

I believe this is how we embody Christ in the world as his body. This is how we live in community for and with each other. This is how we see the satisfaction and joy in the abundance of God’s kingdom.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

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