Kia Ora All Saints Whānau,
This week I have been listening to some new music from an album called Old Church Basement, by Elevation Worship and Maverick City Music (worth a listen if you are into that style). One of their new songs is called Jireh, coming from the term Jehovah Jirah (or Yahweh Yireh) meaning 'the Lord provides'. This is the name Abraham gives to the place where God provided a ram as a sacrifice in place of Isaac, and is often used as a name for God - Provider.
As we continue our series this week on 'There is Enough', the lyrics of this song have been lingering in my mind: 'Jireh, you are enough' and 'I wasn't holding you up, so there's nothing I can do to let you down'. Too often we become anxious about our time, money or possessions and push for more - more productivity, more assets, more financial stability, more relational influence, more networking. Healthy productivity and fruitfulness is great, but when we work for it to try to impress God, or without recognising our reliance on God, or without a heart of abundance, we live out of a sense of scarcity and reject Jehovah Jireh, our provider. An alternative title to 'There is Enough' could have been 'the Propaganda of More' which implies that we have been sucked into a world that draws us away from the recognition that God is enough and encourages us to compete, often at the expense of others or our relationship with God, our loving parent.
Consider different areas of your life. Do you believe there is 'enough' in that area? Are you asking for God's provision, and if you are, do you truly believe God can and will provide? Are you trying to impress God and avoid letting him down without recognising God isn't asking us to perform for him? What would this world look like if we stepped out of the rat race and lived out of abundance, being content in every circumstance?
As we consider our attitude towards our giving this month, let us be both encouraged and challenged to live into the abundance of the living God: Jireh, YOU ARE ENOUGH.
May you be blessed to be a blessing to others this week.
It's a busy time for us at All Saints in May!
So pop along to a few of those opportunities as we invite the Holy Spirit to walk with us - teaching, encouraging, prompting and going before us in all we do!
When I talked last week on the idea of money I was struck by the clarity that our heart is really important in all we do. This week we are moving on to a few verses further down where Jesus talks about storing treasures and how much we worry. I was pondering how reliant on God am I? How much do I trust him to provide.
I am always struck by the stories of people who just waited for God to move. I have heard plenty of stories where we were down to our last money or last pantry items or other things and then God provided out of the blue. In all of it I believe it is an exercise in faith. But how much faith should we have? What should we rely on God to provide? What should we be able to do as we till and work here?
These are all questions I come to this passage with - yet perhaps it is the world I live in, one driven by individualism. In an individual world we are all driven by our own kingdoms - I am the boss, I am in charge and I create. The kingdom of God on the other hand inherently means that God is the boss, he is in charge and it is he who creates. This is incredibly hard for us to get our heads around, I believe, because the very nature of democracy is that we each have our own say plus the idea of a King/Queen is still there but a far off reality.
Instead of heart this time I believe it is our worldview that needs shifting. If we can shift to a community mindset, where we provide for each other and then collectively use our resources for the Kingdom of God then I imagine we would radically change our realities and also therefore how we need God.
I believe there is also a reality that when you don't need God it is harder to see him at work. However, when you put yourself in positions where the only option is to need God perhaps it is easier to see him working.
This is all food for thought to add to your kete (basket) - we will find out more on Sunday when I have thought further through some of these musings. In the meantime enjoy your weekend and don't forget to wish your mother, mother-in law, other mothers and those motherly figures in your life a blessed Sunday!
Nga mihi nui,
Andrew Spence on behalf of the Co-Vicars