Most of us watched the political circus unfolding these past few months – and we’ve watched with apprehension as politicians lay out their plans for furthering the economy of our country. Plans couldn’t be much different – and whether either candidate has a handle on how to right the economy.
When we were kids, we were all told the story of the “little red hen.” She was the industrious one who found some grains of wheat in the barnyard. She attempted to get the other animals (duck, pig, and the cat) to help her. They would have nothing of it. Alone, the Little Red Hen planted the wheat, watched over the crop, harvested, and then took the wheat to the miller. Later when she baked a loaf of bread made from her wheat, the duck, pig, and cat were more than ready to help her eat the finished product. The moral – the reason we were all told that story – was to make us productive citizens, ready to do our part. We understand this concept – we feel we deserve to eat and live from what we earn. This is the opposite of entitlement – people who feel they deserve a helping hand. In fact, the way we were brought up tried to teach us to be responsible, to work hard, and to make our own way in the world.
Hard work, taking responsibility, being industrious and frugal are essential. That’s the way the world economy works. Christianity, though, doesn’t work that way. We have a God who doesn’t require that we be involved with the recipe of salvation. We have a God who does the planting, the cultivating, the weeding, the harvesting, the kneading of the dough, and the baking. In fact, God does that all Himself, and then offers us delicious bread to eat – the fruit of His labors. In this case we reap what we didn’t sow, and we eat the meal we had no hand in preparing. That is an economy different from anything we were ever taught as children. God’s generosity is amazing – as is His love for His undeserving children. What is more, we His church are invited and compelled to invite others to eat with us of the bread we didn’t create or bake.