Channelling Walter Brueggemann

It’s amazing the fantastic stewardship resources available at no charge and a mere computer click away on denominational websites. My latest find is a series of short (6 to 8 minute) video-taped conversations between renowned Old Testament scholar and stewardship teacher par excellence, Walter Brueggemann and Laurel Johnston, program officer for stewardship for the Episcopal Church. The series, which includes reflection questions based on Dr. Brueggemann’s wonderful words of wisdom, is ideally suited for adult Sunday school classes or small group studies. 

In “Companions on the Way: Conversations about Money, Discipleship, and Stewardship,” Brueggemann sings from the same page as the one to which I return time and again in this blog. It’s a song of gratitude for God’s boundless abundance and generosity.

Here’s the menu for the video series, along with a companion quote for each title, excerpted from Brueggemann’s “The Liturgy of Abundance, the Myth of Scarcity.”

  1. Anxiety and ambivalence – For most of us, scarcity is not a reality. Scarcity is an attitude. The sustained disciplined act of generosity is simply calling the bluff of our scarcity ideology and discovering that it is not so. We must confess that the central problem of our lives is that we are torn apart by the conflict between our attraction to the good news of God’s abundance and the power of our belief in scarcity.
  2. Trusting in God’s generosity — When the disciples, charged with the feeding of the hungry crowd, found a child with five loaves and two fishes, Jesus took, blessed, broke, and gave the bread. These are the four decisive verbs of our sacramental existence. Jesus conducted a Eucharist, a gratitude. He demonstrated that the world is filled with abundance and freighted with generosity.
  3. Reclaiming our identity as God’s entrusted stewards — What we know about our beginnings and our endings, then, creates a different kind of present tense for us. We can live according to an ethic whereby we are not driven, controlled, anxious, frantic, or greedy precisely because we are sufficiently at home and at peace to care about others as we have been cared for.
  4. Jesus and life abundant — This frantic hunger for more is a true sign that we do not trust the goodness of God to support all our needs; we do not trust that the generous rule of Jesus who has ascended into power is in effect. But we, we are Jesus’ people, pledged and empowered to act differently, differently in the neighborhood, different in the economy, differently in the world.

Comments

  1. Carol Lytch says:

    Thank you for calling attention to Bruggeman’s powerful way of seeing abundance and scarcity. This will preach.

  2. Indeed!

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