Continuing with my exploration of the application of Claibournes writing – click here for the first reflection. I want next to explore his ideas of abundance with the idea we have been exploring this month in Moot – the idea of ‘sufficiency’. Claibourne talks about the idea of communities of justice seeking the common good, and that when you live this way – you can receive abundantly from people – in away you could not – if caught in the individualistic pursuit of consumption. I like this idea a lot – but it requires a community to really practice generosity with money. I don’t think there are many emerging churches that are generous with money – partly because they are made up of people who are bright and broke – but I still think we have a long way to go – to be more open with money and offer the little we have. I am trying to live this way – and balance the need to be a good steward with a shared purse. I hope that Moot can learn to practice its generosity more – so that we can create funds to really help people and Moot develop. We have not established this yet. This way of living is so counter-cultural that it requires a real focus to live this way, and challenges individualism. I love the stories in Claibourne’s book about how people pooled money and posessions as an expression of love – that really got me. So I think this idea of receiving abundance (not to be confused with the prosperity gospel about being faithful and then God provides), out of an attitude of generosity in giving coming out of an attitude of sufficiency – is key to Moot growing into its rhythm of life. As an end note – I was really impressed about the story of Cred Jewellery – which were a bunch of Christians who set up a company to sell jewellery – but with real ethics about fair trade and supporting ethical and justice orientated approaches to diamonds and the rest to counter a trade based on oppression and exploitation – click the link to see their story.
So a theology of abundance attends seriously to Christ’s sermon on the mount about how we should live, and takes economic matters as community seriously. And seeks to build the common good.