Six. Increase

there is this story in the bible. actually, there are more than one stories of this type in the bible.

the stories of increasing the existent food resources. (as found in 1 Kings 17:7-16; then in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15 – four parallel versions; and Mark 8:1-9 and Matthew 15:32-39 – two parallel versions, and probably more)

the plots are simple: someone has something. they share it with a man of god. the resource is increased till all those sharing are well-fed and watered.

and here i see two things happening in the church:

first, the positive. there are resources – time, things we do, things we have – we decide to give to the man of god to be shared. those things then are increased till all have enough and there is to spare (how many baskets did they gave of bread-crumbs alone?)

second, the negative. when the existent resources are scarce, there is the temptation of not to give them to the man of god and not to share. and then the miracle of increasing cannot happen, as there is nothing to increase.

or sometimes – all the increase god can manage is to rise the lack of something up to a zero. and so the words from the letter of james 4 are suddenly too true. lack of commitment, both communal and individual, can be lethal.

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