Grace Church’s Tuesday morning Bible study at the VIP Diner is one of the best parts of my week. Together we’ve read most of the New Testament, Genesis, lots of Psalms and now we’re tackling Exodus. Each time we begin a new book I give a mini lecture about differences between us as twenty first century Christians and the communities that shaped these amazing texts. Even so, as soon as the group gets knee deep into whatever book we’re reading we share moments of stunned amazement. The Scriptures usually sound like commentary on current events.
The twenty four hour news feed on everyone’s televisions, car radios and cell phones insists that there is one narrative that shapes our common life and that it’s time to choose sides, fight for power and make decisions based on suspicion of others and anxiety about the future.
But scripture says the empires of the world, whether they be Egypt, the United States, Babylon or Rome have always told this same story with different characters and made similar demands. Even so, says the Bible, there is another story, an alternative history and a different way.
While we elect Presidents, God appoints prophets. When Pharaoh calls the Hebrews his “slaves”, God lays claim upon them as His “chosen people”. Pharaoh demands more work, but God the observance of Sabbath as a time think, rest and pray. To maintain their supremacy, empires must consume and expand. But God’s reign draws near whenever people share, because just like the manna in the wilderness, they believe in God‘s “enough”.
Stewardship is embracing God’s story instead of the one on CNN or in The New York Post as our own. When we share what we have instead of hoarding it, set aside time to worship God and love each other and reject the anxious rhetoric that divides people into camps of us and them, we choose God’s story as our story and declare our true citizenship in His Kingdom.
So please make a pledge to Grace Church for 2017 and claim God’s alternative story- where everyone is welcomed and there is always enough.
Your sister in Christ.
Rev. Laurie Jean Wurm