Remember, release, reimagine and restore. This is the pattern we have followed in looking at Our Money Story. I remembered with you my childhood story of working all summer, mowing lawns and washing cars to buy a Ten-speed bike. It was a good story, a good experience, even a good lesson, but when it became the pattern of my adult life, seeking happiness through the next purchase, the next achievement, it began to separate me from God and from peace. I needed a new story if I wanted to find peace.
I worked to release that story, grateful for the lessons, but aware that it was no longer serving me. I began to recognize that in God’s kingdom, peace comes from what we give, not what we get. Those old stories that form us are hard to release. We go back to old patterns time after time, looking for happiness. Earn more, buy more, newer, better, new and improved: these are the themes of the world’s money story. We need to reimagine our stories, weaving our story into God’s story. It takes a new story, a new imagination, to restore peace.
We find peace by living into God’s story of justice and compassion. The money stories we hear from Jesus are focused on what we can do for those in need. After the resurrection, Peter, Thomas, John and the others had gone home to Galilee. They faced a choice: go back to their old lives or continue following Jesus. They decided to go fishing. They went back to their old stories. So, Jesus met them on the beach, fed them bread and fish, and then commanded, “Feed my sheep.”
Restoring peace comes from what we can do for others. The money story we learn from Jesus is about clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and feeding the hungry. That’s what we are about as a congregation at St. Dunstan’s Church. We call ourselves, The Church that Feeds People because we know the blessing, the peace, that comes when we feed the hungry.
It is hard to live in God’s kingdom when the world around us is telling such a different story. This year we offer our congregation, The Church that Feeds People, as a way of supporting one another in finding peace by living God’s money story. Together, we live into God’s story with our worship, our music, our prayers, and our feeding ministries. We live into God’s money story to restore peace.