The Parable of Manna from Hell - John Van Sloten

April 18, 2010

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Media @ New Hope CalgaryWhat is God’s take on money, materialism and the good life?

Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be.
Psalm 39:6, TNIV

When I call, give me answers. God, take my side!
Once, in a tight place, you gave me room;
Now I'm in trouble again: grace me! hear me!
You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn?
How long will you lust after lies?
How long will you live crazed by illusion?
Look at this: look
Who got picked by God!
He listens the split second I call to him.
Complain if you must, but don't lash out.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.
Why is everyone hungry for more?
"More, more," they say. "More, more."
I have God's more-than-enough,
More joy in one ordinary day
Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep,
For you, God, have put my life back together.”
Psalm 4, The Message

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April 11, 2012
We claimed our way in this life boat world and became a survivor / star and rationalized the high on the pure oxygen of “I”.
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April 25, 2010
Just listened to your message about the plane crash in Wiwinak, Nicaragua. I happened to be able to visit that community just this past Friday along with Mark Vanderwees and a few others. I was struck by the loss of community that this manna from hell brought. My first thought had been that it was quite something that the whole community would share these sudden riches. But it only took a few minutes to realize that instead this sudden wealth had shredded the community. We were not greeted with smiles and hospitality as in many other places but with people whose faces registered fear and sadness. Men walking around with rifles and guns rather than tools, wary of us. Apparently the day before family members came to claim the bodies of those who died in the plane crash. But the community would only give them up for more money. Greed begets more greed. A pastor lamenting the loss of youth whom he can no longer reach because they have given themselves to worldly pursuits.
We were also part of meeting with members of the community that CRWRC and AMC have been working with. It was a hard meeting. The farmers were unhappy because they weren't getting more handouts. The project also works with the agreement that once a farmer is making some profit he will share some of it with the community in order to help others get started. But they were no longer willing to share with others. It was not about community but about self.
It seems to me that the loss of community is no stranger to us in North America. Our wealth isolates us, consumes us rather than we consuming it. The parable you preached on is not a feel good one. Such manna erodes union with one another and with God.

Harry Zantingh
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