Some of you may know about my new pastime, mosaicing.
It is a place where I can zone out, reflect and discern. My latest piece is based on well-known story from the Bible. It’s a copy of a fifth century mosaic in a church in Tabgha in northern Israel.
In the story of the loaves and fishes, the disciples were mystified when Jesus challenged them about the need of the crowd for food. Before them were 5,000 men—plus women and children, all hungry—who needed to be fed. The disciples were tested; could they see the riches that were around them?
We all know the outcome of the story. They failed, and it was with the help of a small boy that Jesus was able to turn two small fish and five loaves of bread into something that was plentiful.
Project Plenty was chosen as the name for our new discernment process from a place of conviction—the acknowledgement that in Christ we have more than sufficient. It’s an intentionally provocative name and has caused discussion, which is a good thing.
We know that we have been gifted by those who came before us. They lived the faith in such a way that it was passed onto their daughters and their sons, and they gifted us with physical assets that sustain us in our worship and mission. The responsibility is ours to be worthy stewards of all that has been left in our care and over which we have oversight.
Being Protestant is also a worthy inheritance. We are responsible people and we take ourselves seriously. But we Protestants sometimes limit our imagination of what we have to what we own—and the gospel invites us to see a bigger picture. It tells us that there is more available than we can ever imagine.
While parts of our state are going through drought, disinvestment or depopulation, the testimony of people of faith in those regions is that the goodness of God is their one true constant. God is faithful. Those who live on the edge of despair—and each of us will walk in this dark space at some time in our lives—are witnesses to that truth. Our God is a God of boundless grace.
Project Plenty is an invitation to step into a space of discernment and imagination. To rediscover that we are indeed blessed to be a blessing. What does this mean for us, now and in the future? We may think that we have only our two small fish and five loaves—but we have plenty to share. We are plenty.
I encourage you to join the Project Plenty conversation and share your thoughts to shape our future for tomorrow. You can do this by visiting the Project Plenty website or joining the Project Plenty Facebook group.