'Nuff

Nuff for all. The year was 1992 As associate pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, Minnesota I was privileged to lead a group of campers to church camp at Good Earth Village outside of Spring Valley, Minnesota, nestled in the heart of beautiful Southwest Minnesota-.

The theme for that year was responsible ecology The slogan? Nuff for all!

That slogan reminded the campers of our responsibility to each other and to the earth.

In God’s economy, If we were taking God's compassion seriously, As a community, state, nation and world there would always be  Enough food, Enough housing, Enough jobs Enough citizenship, Enough welcome.

If we look at the bigger picture what's wrong with our world is not really a lack of resources.

In the abstract studies have shown that Taken as a whole there is enough of everything physical for everybody. Food fuel shelter.

What keeps us from getting there is a false sense of values, A sense of me first a downright misappropriation of all available resources, to benefit ourselves at the expense of others.

The rich at the expense of the poor, The entitled over the needy, The haves over the have nots.

This was true thirty five hundred years ago when Moses promulgated the law in Leviticus about leaving a little at the harvest rather than harvesting it all.

The leftover gleanings were left there exactly for the purpose of feeding those in need.

God cares, God wants everyone to have enough.

The apostle Paul demonstrated the same attitude in our second reading –

All things belong to you, Paul says. And you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

What everyone has in common, Says Paul- Is that We are all in this together.

And because you and I belong to God, Like or not, You and I and all people belong to each other too.

But how does our principle work itself out in our life?

I think God assumes that we will each do for ourselves as much as we can.

God also assumes, that when help is needed, we will come to each other's aid.

We may not be attached at the hip, but we are certainly attached at the heart, and sometimes that means being attached at the pocketbook as well.

The followers of Jesus Way See money- And all our resources As belonging to us- And to all of us.

Because all people And all things belong to God. There is Nuff for all.

No one can tell you exactly how to use your resources- That’s your job, Your responsibility.

But we are required by God to give an accounting For those resources.

Far better to spend and be spent for others- Than to horde it for ourselves.

One of our friends here at Gethsemane, recently arrived, is Alice Ferdinand.

She blogged this past week And her blog is the perfect demonstration of this principle.

Riding the light rail train is always an adventure. Since my church is downtown, I take the LRT on Sundays when it's usually a quiet trip and a four block walk to my church.

This Sunday I was gearing up for the four block walk when at one of the stops a homeless woman got on. 

Her plight was obvious, she had no front teeth, matted hair that had been dyed pink at one time, and looked in need of a bath.

The passengers immediately stiffened in her presence.   She was carried several shopping bags and cursing loudly while carrying on an internal dialogue with herself.  

It was obvious she needed medication and help.

She was telling herself she had been through worse than what was happening now and that she would survive. 

 She sat down opposite me and without any warning she opened one of the bags that had torn and began tossing food items at the floor.  

She then pulled  a plastic grocery bag from her pocket and asked me to hold it open while she tried to double bag her remaining food.  

Without thinking about it I reached into my purse and pulled out a nylon grocery tote that I keep in my purse for grocery shopping.

The woman took the bag, unfolded it, smiled and thanked me. As we repacked her food, she began to talk about how she and her father were trying to hang on.  

She wanted to know where I was going and I told her.   "That's good, she said. And then she smiled a crooked, toothless smile.  

As she was getting ready to get off at the stop before mine, she looked at me again and thanked me.

"Will you pray for my dad and me?"  I said of course. "Good. I'll pray for you, too."   For a moment or two she was part of ordinary society and not an outcast.  

I hadn't given her money, she asked for none, but somehow our energies met and for that moment it was enough. 

As I got off at the next stop and walked to my church I thought about the woman trying to survive in a hostile world who came into my world for a moment and left me with a blessing.   It was enough.

There is Nuff for all. Amen.

SermonRev. Phil Boelter