Gary Hoag: The Liturgy of Abundance, the Myth of Scarcity – Walter Brueggemann

“The profane is the opposite of the sacramental. ‘Profane’ means flat, empty, one-dimensional, exhausted. The market ideology wants us to believe that the world is profane–life consists of buying and selling, weighing, measuring and trading, and then finally sinking down into death and nothingness.

“But Jesus presents and entirely different kind of economy, one infused with the mystery of abundance and a cruciform kind of generosity. Five thousand are fed and 12 baskets of food are left over–one for every tribe of Israel. Jesus transforms the economy by blessing it and breaking it beyond self-interest. From broken Friday bread comes Sunday abundance. In this and in the following account of a miraculous feeding in Mark, people do not grasp, hoard, resent, or act selfishly; they watch as the juices of heaven multiply the bread of earth. Jesus reaffirms Genesis 1.

“When people forget that Jesus is the bread of the world, they start eating junk food–the food of the Pharisees and of Herod, the bread of moralism and of power. To often the church forgets the true bread and is tempted by junk food. Our faith is not just about spiritual matters; it is about the transformation of the world. The closer we stay to Jesus, the more we will bring a new economy of abundance to the world.”

Walter Brueggemann in “The Liturgy of Abundance, the Myth of Scarcity” from The Christian Century, March 24-31, 1999: 342-347. This whole article is worth reading.

We must cease following the market ideology of scarcity and, for our own good, stop eating junk food! Why? Our existence in God’s economy is abundant and there’s more than enough of the bread of life for everyone to go around (cf. John 6:35)!

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