Friday, 30 March 2012

Running on empty

On our own, we conclude:
that there is not enough to go around
we are going to run short
of money
of love
of grades
of publications
of sex
of beer
of members
of years
of life

we should seize the day…
seize the goods…
seize our neighbor’s goods
because there is not enough to go around
and in the midst of our perceived deficit;

You come
You come giving bread in the wilderness
You come giving children at the 11th hour
You come giving homes to the exiles
You come giving futures to the shut-down
You come giving Easter joy to the dead
You come … fleshed … in Jesus
And we watch while
the blind receive their sight
the lame walk
the lepers are cleansed
the deaf hear
the dead are raised
the poor dance and sing.

We watch … and we take
food we did not grow and
life we did not invent and
future that is gift and gift and gift and
families and neighbors who sustain us
when we do not deserve it.
It dawns on us, late rather than soon, that
You give food in due season
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

By your giving,
break our cycles of imagined scarcity
override our presumed deficits
quiet our anxieties of lack
transform our perceptual field to see
the abundance...mercy upon mercy
blessing upon blessing.
Sink your generosity deep into our lives
that your much-ness may expose our false lack
that endlessly receiving, we may endlessly give,
so that the world may be made Easter new,
without greedy lack, but only wonder
without coercive need, but only love
without destructive greed, but only praise
without aggression and evasiveness...
all things Easter new...
all around us, toward us and by us
all things Easter new.
Finish your creation...
in wonder, love and praise. Amen.

An Easter Prayer by Walter Brueggemann (Thanks to Blue Eyed Ennis)

I haven't met a single person who will admit to being one of those who rushed to the pumps to fill up their car these last few days. Or if anyone did admit to it, they explained that they were almost empty and otherwise they would have resisted. I didn't fill up, but then I'd filled up the day before the panic started. I did get stuck in traffic jam caused by a queue for petrol and sat and thought about the needless delays, not to mention extra fuel consumption, that other people's anxiety was causing me! I also thought of when Northern Rock crashed, causing a "run on the banks". Fear and greed are at the root of selfish behaviour.This Easter Prayer by Walter Brueggemann made me think of the recent fuel-crisis-that-wasn't and how it was only a symptom of what is wrong with us all.


  1. Thanks Sue,
    for such a timley reflection...
    I'm constantly surprised by the contrasts of life, and how we explain things to ourselves, it's easy for it all to be about 'Me'... (fear and greed).
    It's so easy to lose perspective regarding the fact that we have so little control really, and in fact are constantly thrown onto the mercy/grace of God.

  2. OK - I will admit it. I went out at 7.00 am yesterday to buy petrol, the reason being the fuel gage was already showing red and I had an essential journey that had to be made that day and could not be made on foot or by public transport and other people were depending on me. I went to my village petrol station but the queue was too long - its only a small place and I thought it must run out soon. So I drove 3 miles to the town - there was no queue at the very large petrol station - reason - they had run out of petrol and diesel completely. I drove back to my village almost on empty and joined the queue there - eventually was very thankful to get petrol before running out. Having said all that - thank you for the Walter Brueggemann prayer - so apt and timely.

  3. It isn't a criticism of those who did need to fill up. A friend of mine was planning a journey as she needed to help her daughter who has just bought a new flat. I know she felt bad about joining the queue, but her only other option was the train - and she wanted to take a load of stuff down.
    It's more about the underlying fear/ need to ensure we don't "miss out" on anything - and who cares about anyone else.