Sunday, August 10, 2014
Economy of God vs. Economy of Empire (Sermon audio from Mt. 14:13-21)
Jesus feeding 5000-plus people on five loaves of bread and two fish is a miracle. It is also an economic statement. Matthew tells the stories of John the Baptist's death and Jesus' feeding story consecutively. On one hand, John's execution comes at the hands of kings, mistresses, and esteemed political guests who have made questionable deals and promises that affects the lives of thousands. These deals are based on privilege and power, and their integrity is revealed as John's head is displayed on a platter.
The economy of God is revealed in Jesus' feeding story. All present are fed, there is more than enough, everyone is satisfied. This satisfying feeding is also done in the context of the followers of Jesus having little or no confidence in their resources or their ability to feed the people gathered. Their first response is to send them away so they find what they need in a more plentiful place.
The economies in these two stories couldn't be more different. In Matthew's Gospel, the economy of God will prevail. For followers of Jesus, we are invited to take part. God gives us what we need, and gives it abundantly.