Sunday, my CTW post focused on the irony of the Occupy Wall Street protests and the outpouring of affection and sympathy for Apple, Inc founder and multibillionaire, Steve Jobs. Unbeknownst to me, my musings found synergy with those of another preacher/blogger/friend, Rev. Eric Folkerth. Eric, is pastor of Northaven United Methodist Church, and had taken part in an OWS protest in Dallas. In his blog, he explained to his congregation his rationale, providing a scriptural context for those demonstrations. He illustrates that context with a delightful story of an encounter his wife had a few years ago. Eric is married to the lovely State District Judge Dennise Garcia. Here's an excerpt from his post...
"A few years back, somebody at the courthouse came in to see Dennise to ask her about a Bible passage. Bless their hearts, people just assume that because she's married to a minister she'll be able to know, and interpret, everything in the Bible. As if somebody could come to me and ask me to recite the Texas Family Code."
"Anyway, this person came to Dennise and said, "Hey, Judge, where is that passage in the Bible that says 'Give a man to fish, feed him today. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime?""
"Dennise paused for a moment, and said, "Um, that's not in the Bible...""
"But this person was absolutely unconvinced, and looked at Dennise with eyes full of pity, that seemed to say, "Oh, you poor dear...you don't even know the Bible...""
"The woman asked Dennise, "Can you call Eric and ask him?""
"Dennise said, "No, it isn't in the Bible...""
"I'm pretty sure this person spent the rest of the day on Google, trying to find where in the Bible this phrase is.
"But I'll tell you what IS in the Bible: The feeding of the five thousand."
Jesus and his disciples are surrounded by five thousand hungry people. They only have two fish and few loaves of bread. But! Some of Jesus' disciples are actual fishermen.
"So, this could be the perfect time for Jesus to pull out a fishing lesson. It would be the perfect time for: "Teach these folks to fish so that they may be fed for a lifetime...""
"But instead, when the disciples say: "Should we send them home?""
"Jesus says: "No, YOU give them something to eat.""
"So, to Wall Street, and to all of us, I would say that this is what Jesus has to teach us:
"The world will always say: "Don't get involved, hoard what you have.""
"Jesus will always say, "Give of what you have. It doesn't belong to you anyway. It belongs to God.""
Media continues to say that the Occupy Wall Street protesters lack a singular focus. I'd say our focus is too diffuse get it. Our quality of life and security in life doesn't rest solely on our efforts to achieve personal prosperity. We have to have a society that offers opportunity and access for all. It's really pretty simple.
Read the rest of Eric Folkerth's post here...