Monday, April 26, 2010

Grabbers and Givers

James says that quarrels and fights come from our lusts, our covetousness, our envy. But this table is a standing witness and invitation to another way of life, another way of speaking to one another, another way of being family and being in community. And the fundamental difference between earthly wisdom and heavenly wisdom is the difference between grabbers and givers. Jesus said that whoever wants to find his life must lose it, and whoever loses his life for the sake of Jesus will find it. And to the one who tries to save his life, Jesus says that he will actually lose it. Grabbers are busy trying to save their own lives, grabbing for money, grabbing for power, grabbing for authority, grabbing for influence, grabbing for respect and blessing and love and happiness. And Jesus assures us that that is the best way to ensure that you never have any of those things. But the wisdom that is from above, the wisdom of the Spirit calls us to be givers. For God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. And God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. God is the Supreme Giver.

And here, He continues to give. But even this is just a heavenly glimpse into what the entire world is like. God gives everything away. God gives sunsets away like a madman. He throws snow and leaves and flowers around with abandon. He gives children and health and laughter and alligators and rainbows and steak and popcorn and wine and rest and work and kisses and violin concertos and dancing and stories and stars. And He gives them overflowing, over and over, day after day, again and again and again and again. We serve the Great Giver who overflows, spilling countless piles of grace and blessing and goodness on us and on our families.

And that’s what this is here. This is God’s grace pouring out, spilling out for you in Christ. And God says, do you get it? Do you understand how I love you? Do you see that I’m willing to die for you? Do you see that this world was made for you? That this universe is not only full of lakes and seas stocked with fish, this universe is stocked with my overflowing life. Do you see? Do you get it? But grabbers don’t see. Grabbers look around and all they see are a few crumbs on the floor. They look around and only see a barren wasteland. And God has designed the world such that grabbers get what they see. And when they see nothing but sand and cactus, that’s what they get.

But God has better things for you, and God reminds you here week after week that He is the Great Giver and He not only gives Himself to you here, but He calls you to imitate Him. Imitate Him here, and then go imitate Him out there. Be givers like Him. But the only way you can be givers like Him is if you believe Him, that you believe He is the Great Giver, and that He has given Himself to you and for you, and that He will always give, that there will never be a famine with Him. So come, eat, drink, and rejoice, and do not hold back. In this bread and wine see the reckless abundance of your God, and the only way to keep is to give it. Give it to your families, give it with your neighbors.

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