by Rosie Snow
In times of great upheaval, it is more important than ever to reconnect to our faith in the spiritual and material abundance that God has made available to us.
Our world is moving through a series of compounding, interlocking shocks. Some, like the effects of climate change, are the direct consequence of human behavior. Others, like the coronavirus, enter by chance from outside the human system and then make their way through every aspect of it, reflecting back to us what is broken and unbalanced in how we communicate and care for each other.
One of the great dangers of shocks like these–in addition to the immediate physical effects–is the risk that they will perpetuate and worsen a culture of scarcity in which there is never enough, people are encouraged to hoard, every person is for themself, and the most vulnerable are scapegoated.
But these shocks can also be an opportunity to manifest the abundance that God has given us. Jesus Christ was not a prepper, urging people to prepare for individual survival in the face of apocalyptic change. Instead, he brought the world both a mentality and actuality of abundance, turning water into wine and feeding thousands with just a small portion of food. And Jesus poured the Holy Spirit out on to the people as a way to invite us to do the same.
Our community has the potential to use this spiritual gift more fully than ever before. In this body of Christ is an unlimited supply of expertise and goodwill. We can turn a few hours of free time between us into a response network, visiting and supporting our most vulnerable neighbors as needed. We can turn our outdoor spaces into gardens and food forests, producing abundantly for all who need it. We can convert sunlight into energy, resilient against fossil fuel market chaos. We can support each other in sharing our many gifts and humane impulses, rather than burying them and co-opting them for profit , as our economy and culture demand.
The world is starved for community-led manifestations of abundance like this, especially with cascading shocks that reveal the ineptitude of our current system. I truly believe if we can offer this, the message will spread far and wide. I believe this because Jesus showed us, first.