We like to think of ourselves as self-sufficient. We must ask, however, on whose backs our self-sufficiency is built.

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Creative Commons Wordcloud: Pope Francis’s address to a joint meeting of Congress, September 24, 2015, @Tagxedo @Pontifex” by Ron Mader is licensed under CC-BY 2.0

Joshua 24:13
13 I gave you land on which you hadn’t toiled and cities that you hadn’t built. You settled in them and are enjoying produce from vineyards and olive groves that you didn’t plant. (CEB)

[Scripture taken from the Common English Bible®, CEB® Copyright © 2010, 2011 by Common English Bible.Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.]


We inherited a land on which we did not labor and live in towns and cities which we did not build. Rather than raise food to eat, we simply go to the grocery store and shop to our hearts content. We have truly been richly blessed. We give thanks to the name of God. Perhaps. We give thanks for ancestors not known, for cousins not yet discovered. So many have contributed to our largesse.

It is time to make an accounting; time to listen carefully and discern whether this graciousness insists upon us. I can be like so many of those around me and only hear the begging insistence of my own self-sufficiency; or, I can hear voices of underpaid farm hands in Third World nations and echoes of the rape of the environment, all of which present me with the stuff of banquet feasts.

As for my and my household, we will listen for the cries of the least, the last, the lost, and the left-out, as we attempt to discern a godly way to respond and move ahead — a way that is worthy of the name of God. Perhaps.

It is audacious to be willing to give up on the existence of God, the power of  a divine fixer. It is audacious because it vests us/me with responsibility for life decisions, responsibility for abundant living, not only for ourselves but for all — with special concern for the least, the last, the lost, and the left-out. That is what I understand to be service in the name of God. Perhaps. 

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