Political leaders of all brands are wholly owned by those who profit most by our country’s relentless obsession with growth, overconsumption, and acquisition without regard to what it is doing to the earth or the human soul. There is only one place you can find anyone talking about different values, and even his own family and friends didn’t take him seriously. Jesus has been trying to get someone to hear this for more than 2,000 years, but we have pretended that he is as much of a capitalist as we are, despite what the Bible clearly says.
Why is it that even people of faith have such a hard time learning to live with a sense of enough? Well, if it is any comfort, we are not the first. Soon after the Hebrews had been rescued from Egypt, with their feet barely through the Red Sea, they started getting nostalgic for their time in Egypt. At least there they had plenty to eat …
God had not forgotten them in the wilderness, but said to Moses, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites, and am going to rain bread from heaven. At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know I am the LORD your God.” God continued, “Do not take more than you need. Let no one store any of the heavenly provisions of one day for the next. Rather, there is enough for everyone to eat to their fill. Take as much as you need, for there is enough for all.”
Enough for all.
Now, put yourselves in the shoes of the Hebrews who had spent their entire lives as the property of the Egyptians. They were OWNED by people who used them to build huge structures to STORE great wealth for this life AND the next. Now God is telling them not to try to keep enough food for tomorrow.
The principle this ancient parable tries to teach–trusting that it is God who provides–is one we still miss, so we remain enslaved by the mentality of those who own us: those who control us with fear and those who buy us with baubles, persuading us that if we have MORE THAN ENOUGH we’ll feel like we are enough.
According to this parable, it took the Hebrews 40 years to unlearn the lies of slavery and to become ready to live in the land of promise. How long will it take us? Our entire adult life? Will this entire generation of consumers have to die off in the wilderness before the next generation can live as humans?
Rev. Michael Piazza