This week finds us gathering around Matthew 6:25-33 and celebrating World Wide Communion Sunday as well as Thanksgiving…it’s a full meal deal folks.

 

Like Mark’s story last week, Matthew’s reading causes a lot of people to get their back up – including me.  Jesus almost sounds like an absent minded tourist, lounging on the beach at a 5 star hotel who’s making plenty of money, preaching peaceful prayer to those who are afraid that the morning will find them homeless, naked, and without hope.  Just keep doing what you’re doing, wealth always trickles down, is a well worn philosophy for some of the world’s wealthy elite.

 

Other folks will take Matthew’s gospel at face value and find solace in an all knowing, all powerful parent who is always on our side and will come to our aid when we need it.  The problem with that is the devastating brutality of poverty that is rampant world wide.  I love birds – I’m an avid birder actually – and I have noticed how mother nature provides food and shelter.  But birds are also covered in feathers that have evolved to deal with the climate of the earth.  We have naked skin susceptible to just about every condition and element imaginable.  Again, sometimes the gospel causes you to scratch both your head and your soul.

 

In my mind, either reading takes too many of Jesus’ words for granted.  This is a snippet of the sermon on the mount, and like most things in the bible, we tend to read things out of context because it’s easier to read a small portion of the sacred text than pay attention for lengthy chapters and verses.

 

When I sat down on Monday to pray about where the Spirit would take this week’s sermon and our worship, I couldn’t help but remember what happened during All of Us Children two weeks ago at St. John’s.  I happened to use my iPad to display an image of a rainbow fish that I was using as a segue to the gospel.  Everything went great.  At least in my mind anyway!  At the very end, one of our incredible young children, probably only five or six years old, raised her hand.  Delighted – I asked what her question might be.  It turned out not to be a question, but a startling observation:  “YOU have the same iPad that I HAVE!”  she declared with genuine glee.

 

We all laughed out loud.  Out of the mouths of babes right?  But, perhaps unbeknownst to her, the Spirit moves in even the words from the smallest mouths.  Although it’s not the iPad, the iPhone 5 was predicted to actually affect the Gross Domestic Product of the entire United States of America.  One, single, product.  And everyone has to have it.  GDP is the final market value on all the goods and services a nation produces during a single period and is a benchmark for the standard of living.  Thanks Wikipedia.

 

Our world may be compounded by poverty, hunger and starvation, homelessness, (insert the cause for concern of your choice), and our leaders may declare they’re working hard on these issues with dwindling funds…but there’s enough people in America who have the disposable income to buy a cell phone that will affect their nation’s GDP.  Huh.  I know we live in Canada, but on a different scale, I bet it’s the same truth here – except  RiM is extremely jealous.

 

The success of planting that desire in the mind of a little child is both unnerving and eye opening.  I would be no different as a child her age.  Have we manufactured a society of consumers that are being consumed, or are we created in the image of God and focusing on what we’re creating in God’s name for the sake of the world?

 

Her comment set my mind to wondering – is that the sum of our lives?  Do we live, simply to work, to make (hopefully) increasing amounts of money, so we can buy the things other people make?  Do our lives boil down not to salt as Jesus suggested last week, but to dollars and cents?

 

Recently, Lorna and I have been looking at houses.  In the terms of popular financial industry parlance, we are “young professionals” – recent graduates who have reasonably well paying jobs but also