Today was one of those Sundays where no sermon could fully be formulated until the wee hours of Sunday morning. Then, when it came, I wrote about abundance – the text was about how Jesus came to give life and give it abundantly. I asked the congregation what abundance is to them. After church one of the ladies said to me, “my answer is, ‘my life.’

So then I took my after-church-nap and when I woke up I was thinking about that.

What is abundance to me?

Abundance is:

Time with my children

Time in the sun

Time to write

Time to laugh

Time to talk to friends

Time to follow the leadings of the Spirit in my life

Time to read

Time to remember

Time to walk

Time to pray

Time to think about ideas

Having enough.

When scarcity feels far away.

To be loved

By my tribe

By myself.

Abundance is meaningful, joyful work.

Abundance is Jesus – the Jesus I know and love – the Jesus of justice and grace and hope for the poor, the marginalized, the worried, the worn-down.

Abundance is my little sunroom where I write – I have a little desk here and an old lamp, some beloved bookshelves filled plum full with gorgeous books, a map of Norway pinned to my wall, post-it notes of quotes and poems scattered around, twinkles lights on the ceiling; and my treadmill – for when I need to get my body moving because my mind has stopped moving.

Abundance is the wind in the chimes outside

The geese honking at each other in the cornfield

How my son brushed his hair out of his eyes to smile at me as he walked by just now

And my husband clinking pots and pans around in the kitchen now as he is making supper.

Abundance every which way in this life of mine. My cup runneth over.OJDQ4363

Thank you, thank you, thank you God.

Published by Ruth E. Hetland

Ruth E. Hetland is the pastor of Saint Peter's Lutheran Church of Audubon, Minnesota. She is a mom, wife, skeptic, and Alt for Norge (Norwegian reality show) participant. She has served as a pastor in three other congregations prior to Saint Peter's: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of South Newstead in Akron, New York, First Lutheran Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church at Norse of Clifton, Texas. She has been published in The Lutheran magazine, Christ in Our Home, the Word in Season, the Upper Room, Sundays and Seasons, and several other worship resources. Her most recent book is "Writing With a View of the Graveyard: Loss, Life, and Unruly Grace;" (2018). This devotional with photographs of rural churches is available in black and white on Amazon and in full-color by contacting Ruth at ruthehetland@gmail.com; Ruth's first book, a preaching resource, "The Power of Place and Story in Preaching," was published in 2012 and is available on Amazon. Ruth can be contacted at ruthehetland@gmail.com.

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