Everything feels out of sync. Off to a slow start. Both copy shops on 85th are closed. Both the Bangladeshi and the Israeli. What’s up? Some Ramadan/Tish’a bav convergence? Too late to go to the shop up on Broadway. Too late to call Teddy. We’ll have to do them in house. Call Danielle to walk me through the copy process. Run out of paper. People will have to share. I’m actually hoping not many will come. But they do. Including a couple I’ve been counseling. Damn. None of my music people, including one I was counting on, show up. Dan arrives, looking at me expectantly. I really appreciate his coming. Got to get it together. Some Sundays are like that.
The first lesson is one of my favorites, 2 Samuel 11: 1-15. Where David first encounters Bathsheba. This is part one. The real payoff comes next week. The Gospel is John 6: 1-21. The first of a long stretch on the Bread of Life. Maybe too long.
It’s the of the feeding of the 5000. Usually we think of Jesus and feeding in relationship to communion. This is my body...Jesus laying down his life. We’ll celebrate that next week. But here, we have feeding in the midst of his life..., in the midst of his ministry.
In other gospels' telling of this story, Jesus is responding to his disciples' concerns. How are we gonna feed all these people? And he responds, you feed them . But here, Jesus is setting this up. The disciples respond, ...why not even six months wages could feed all these people.....we just don’t have the money, it’s not in the budget....
This is where we live. We think in terms of scarcity, not abundance. Who was this boy? Was this his own lunch? Was the boy a vendor? A young independent entrepreneur? Like the guy at the philharmonic in the park with his red wine, white wine? (In that crowd, he would have done better with pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon...)
What happens here? We have learned, for example, that in the concentration camps, it was those who shared the little they had who survived. Not those who thought they had to preserve themselves above anyone else. I’ve had the experience of hospitality and poor communities. Always the sharing of food. The greatest charity comes from those who make under $40000 a year. Per capita congregational giving is highest in neighborhoods in the Bronx, Harlem, East Brooklyn....not the Upper Westside.
When this five barley loaves start getting shared around, something happens. Maybe people went out and brought more food back. Maybe they just brought out what they already had and were afraid to share. Maybe....anyways, there was enough. More than enough. Twelve baskets left over. And gathered up so that nothing would,be lost. Enough for left overs...
Then immediately after this we find Jesus walking on the water....???
With God, anything is possible, says Luisa.
We have to start with believing that we have enough. And offer it.Like in our old annual Comfort Ye! concert for the homeless where we always talked about giving from our enoughness... We sustain each other from our enoughness... Be brave enough to step out on the water. And be ready to see what happens...
I got through. It was ok. Not my best. Remind myself...there is always enough....
Sanctuary NYC has invited us to join them for their service. Today they have the In Performance Music Workshop directed by Sean King. A very tight (basically) youth jazz band from Brooklyn with Jane’s old friend JD sitting in. Their classic jazz itself an expression of the freedom that has been SNYC’s theme this week. Jane invites me to speak and Deacon James gets up with me,too. That freedom begins in our heads and hearts, even before our bodies, our external realities have achieved freedom.
(How I long to have a consistent music program, the resources to do what I really want to creatively...)
We gather for (rapidly melting) ice cream in the Session room.
It’s the final performance of The West-Park Theatre Workshop’s Dem Dahk Days Down South. I think back to Glen’s first gatherings, the auditions, the casting, the script coming together...the sense of community that has grown in the cast.
Lilly, Samantha and Jamie have all come to volunteer. I sit behind Jeffrey from SNYC who has come to show support. And I can see that he is moved by the telling of the story of one slave family.
The cast gathers in Mc Alpin for its party. This is exactly the kind of coming together that we seek to be. Chris the playwright saw his play come together. We got to experience Jennifer’s solo voice. Steve overcame his nervousness and handled the piano.. We’ll do an evaluation. Got to get the publicity part down....