Abundance

Remember that time you clicked on the wrong date when scheduling your post to go live. I do. This was supposed to go up on Monday. Rather than taking it down and reposting it, enjoy a sneak peak of this Sunday’s sermon. Given that there’s a chance we might be snowed out, this may wind up being your best chance to hear it. I was going to write up a review of Disney’s fantastic new animated featured, Encanto, this morning, but I’ll save that one for Monday instead. Have a great weekend.

This week we kick off a brand-new teaching series called, Live Big. The world calls us to a big life. It offers us many pathways to that life. But when we follow these paths, they keep taking us somewhere other than advertised. Still, though, there is this desire in us to live big. So, we keep searching. In this series, we are going to explore one important way we can live big. Before we get to that, though, we need to understand something that often gets overlooked: As much as we want to live big, Jesus wants it for us even more. Let’s start this conversation off here, then, by talking about the big life Jesus offers and how we can have it.

Abundance

Let me take you back this morning to a TV series that was truly a trendsetter. It was the first of its kind, and the first of a wave of shows like it that has yet to ebb today. In fact, we’ll make this a bit of a trivia question (but don’t worry—I don’t have any emojis for you to decipher in order to figure this one out). The show’s host ended each episode offering you “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” Any guesses? It was “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” hosted by Robin Leach. Each week, the iconic host would take viewers inside the lives of the wealthiest and most well-known celebrities around the world. It was a glimpse inside a world the vast majority of viewers would never enter on their own. It was a look at what we were confidently told was the good life. And from the look of things through Leach’s eyes, the good life consisted of abundance. Now, an abundance of what exactly depended a bit on the particular celebrity in question, but the one thing they all had in common was an abundance of money. The more money you have, the more things you can have; and when you can have more things than everyone else around you, you are living an abundant life. You are living the kind of life that is going to be featured on some media descendant of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” 

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 6:38, 41

“He asked them, ‘How many loaves do you have? Go and see.’ When they found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ . . . He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and broke the loaves. He kept giving them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever had to stretch something scarce to make it last further and longer than it looked like it would be able to do? I was cleaning out a container of cream cheese the other day. It looked at first like there was only going to be enough for half of a bagel. I managed to scrape and spread to make it cover both sides. Managing this feat really didn’t matter very much beyond convenience as I had another container of it unopened and sitting on the counter next to me, but it was a small win. Sometimes the things we have to make last are more significant than a bagel topping. You may have had to do it so that everyone in your family could eat or so that all the bills could somehow get paid…or both. The story of the feeding of the 5,000 is about a whole lot more than just this, but it does offer us some hope that in Christ, what we think is insufficient can prove to be more than enough.

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