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Good Morning MVC · April 13th

by Joe Phenisee on April 13, 2020
Happy Monday to you and your families. 
If you notice, we are not live today because staff has been instructed to take the day off. 
Under ideal circumstances, I would be grilling pork belly in a Korean sauna, but in reality I am probably watching Zion Williamson highlights while eating some toast. 
Can I be honest with you all for a moment: Taking a sabbath is incredibly difficult for me. 
A relaxing YouTube session, easily turns into Gen Z research,
A “I’ll just check one email,” turns into “what an opportunity to restructure our Sunday school pedagogical strategies” 
Not even showers are safe, since it is here  that a considerable amount of my sermon prep takes place.
For me, it is tempting to work, and when I am not working, it is so tempting to think about what I could be doing. 
As I reflect on my own habits I’m reminded of two things:
First a Comedy Central sketch, wherein a man who grew up in the projects moves into the suburbs. I have found it both funny and insightful that this character instinctually locks the doors and looks outside his windows, despite living in a secure and gated community. 
As snoop dogg once said “you can take the man out of the hood, but you can’t take the hood out of the homie.”
The same might be said for the Israelites in Exodus 16. 
After delivering them from the Egyptians, notice that God’s first command to the Israelites is to observe the sabbath. Why?
Perhaps it is because, to echo snoop, you can take a people out of Egypt, but it will take a lot longer to take Egypt out of the people. 
The Israelites have lived years under a culture of oppression, hard labor, a system that demanded more and more! A system that relied on human strength and wisdom.
Yet here in the wilderness, God wanted to teach the Israelites a different way to live. A way that is free of the burden of want, a culture wherein you work to live instead of living to work. A spirit that celebrates the joy of having enough, and a lifestyle that recognizes that it is God who sustains and completes the work of human flourishing. 
As you know, some of the Israelites  leave their tents in the morning to get to work, they can’t help but to lock the doors and look outside the windows, because the ways of Egypt have yet to be uprooted out of them. 
And that’s the challenge for all of us, is it not? 
Or at-least if you’re like me, it’s hard not to live out of a spirit of scarcity. To feel like just one more thing has to get done, just one more ounce of effort needs to be expended, just one more email, text, phone call, meeting has to take place; because what will happen if it doesn’t? 
But it is against all this, that God reminds me to consider a spirit of having enough. To trust that whatever it is I have done or left undone, I can as the saying goes Let go and Let God. I don’t need to fear if things will work out, I don’t need to worry that I haven’t done enough, because in the end it is God who does the good work through us, finishes the good work apart from us, and it is God who gives us just enough to live in a posture of trust and rest, instead of anxiety and restlessness.
When we live our lives, just one day out of the week, like this, we serve as a prophetic witness to a busy and scarcity driven world that not everything depends on us, but God is the one who provides, God is the one who directs the course of history, and God is the reason we can say with confidence “there is enough.”
So today, don’t be caught up in the “myth of scarcity” but live in the truth that God will be enough and God is enough for you and your families. 

Take care MVC and God bless you today.