You are part of a revolution. Did you know it? It probably doesn’t feel like it. It might seem as if your small part of a small project doesn’t mean much at all. It might seem as if the small project in the midst of the poverty, homelessness, and addiction happening in your community will hardly makes a difference. You may feel as if your community’s issues in the broader picture of our county or our world are hardly a drop in a vast and unsurmountable bucket, nay ocean. You may think that, and it may seem a little hopeless. But its not…
This amazing thing happens when a lot of people do a little. The sum is greater than the parts. This is where miracles happen. This is where what seems small and inadequate is multiplied. When we put our hearts out there, when we lean into the pulling on our hearts to help, when we take a leap that the burden on us to give of ourselves is so incredibly worth it…that it matters more than we can really believe.
Scripture gives us stories about this over and over. Did you know the story of the loaves and fishes is recorded 6 different places in scripture? If your not familiar, this is where Jesus is talking to a crowd of thousands of people, and its approaching time for a meal. There’s no way to feed them all from the couple of loaves and fish that appear to be the only food available. But Jesus blesses it and asks that it be distributed. Miraculously there is enough to go around, with baskets upon baskets leftover. This is what happens when we don’t buy into the myth of scarcity and instead share, give, and serve with confidence. Just to be clear here, I’m not talking magic tricks or illusions…I’m talking about what happens when we give, and even when we see others give. I’m talking about what happens when we see others passionately tackling problems against the odds, but doing it because its worth it.
This is what happens, this is the revolution, this is the miracle of evaluating our efforts not by measurable success or probability or risk, but instead begin evaluating by the worthiness of the goal.
Look even at Missing Peace. We started off with nothing really…we worked with what we had, we didn’t wait till we had a budget, a building, a huge following, but we knew that people wanted community, connection, and to be a part of compassion within our city. We knew that there were great big hearts, and spirits of hope and love, and minds hungry to learn and grow..we knew people wanted to journey together with purpose and meaning searching for truth and wonder. And when we didn’t know, we hoped…and we prayed…
And you know what has happened…people have believed in what we are about. Just yesterday the Central Florida Presbytery voted to give us fifty thousand dollars to continue this work. Locally, Ormond Beach Presbyterian has pledged a monthly gift. Orlando Presbyterian wrote us a check for $1000. The Presbyterian Church USA gave us $7500 with a pledge to do another $25,000 later this year. And that doesn’t even account for the gifts within this community…We have this huge capacity for love and compassion and serving and learning…we are so well equipped to participate in big work God is doing in our hearts, shaping our children, and changing our community. Our work, small as it may seem, blooms in peoples hearts and inspires hope, and giving, and ideas, and more kindness, compassion and love. It’s contagious.
Look, I know it can be scary…when I told Jeff I felt called to start a new thing I described it as jumping off a cliff with no net. I described the fear of failure, the fear of rejection, the fear of running out of resources. How could I put this dream above my families welfare and security? But God has provided. Bigger than we could have imagined. You people make this community an amazing, beautiful, growing, hope filled, glorious gift! And we haven’t come near reaching our capacity. I believe, I really believe we as a community could match everything we’ve been given. I believe we could come up with this and more, and make an enormous, profound effect in the lives of the most vulnerable in our community. What would happen if we gave until it scared us? What would happen if we made a commitment that was past comfortable? What transformation could take place inside of us, and in the world around us?
So here’s the challenge. Think of a number. Think of an amount you think you could give on a monthly basis. And now, think of more. Think of an amount that makes you uncomfortable. Allow yourself to feel a little worried, a little anxious. Here’s what I want us to do. I want us to each make a monthly pledge to this community, to this opportunity for dramatic transformation. But here’s the deal…we won’t spend it. We won’t use a dime of it. We will receive the monthly pledges, but we will hold them in an account, and the moment you are worried about paying the utility bill, or your kid needs shoes for school, or you can’t quite make the grocery budget, we give it back. The moment there isn’t enough, no questions asked, your gift is given back to you. But if, if by some miracle, this uncomfortable, anxious gift, does not create a need in your own household. If we are able to give sacrificially and still buy our groceries and pay our bills..if somehow what we give is multiplied like the loaves and the fishes. We give it away. We make some lavish gift to overcome the plight of the most vulnerable among us. If God shows up and blesses this idea and each of us in it, we give like we never thought possible, and we change lives in an amazing way. Do you want to be a part of it? Do you want to hope for a miracle? Will God once again multiply what we have and feed the thousands?
Take out your smart phone. Download the app if you don’t have it, and click on “giving peace.” You can put in your recurring pledge there. Brittnee is our treasurer and will make sure your gift is held safely in the account, and remains untouched until the end of the year or until you need it. Talk to your family. Pray about it. Ask questions…of me, of Brittnee of each other. It’s a big step, so consider it carefully. And then lets do this. I’m so incredibly excited to watch God work in this. Let’s dare greatly together, and see what God will do.