(Taken from: Prayer Seeds, Joyce Rupp )
May God give you of the dew of heaven,
And of the fatness of the earth,
An abundance of grain and wine. (Gen27:28)
(A variety of seeds are in a basket and also scattered upon a cloth laid on the prayer table)
Now is the time of harvest when Earth’s generosity is evident everywhere. Plants often produce some sort of seed when they reach maturation. The production of these seeds manifests as a metaphor for both the abundance of the current season and a positive anticipation of the future. The dictionary describes “abundance” as (a) an extremely plentiful or overly sufficient quantity or supply ( b) overflowing fullness (c) affluence; wealth.
We are reminded of the spiritual and physical abundance given to us by the Holy One in the following scripture verses:
I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly. (Jn10:10)
The meek shall inherit the land,
And delight themselves in abundant prosperity. (Ps37:11)
Mortals ate the bread of angels,
The Holy One sent them food in abundance. (Ps78:25)
Namaste “I greet the Bountiful Harvest in you.”
Readings for Reflection
Not until you obtain the faculty of being happy through your spiritual and mental faculties, independent of material conditions, not until you learn to value wealth only as a means of helpfulness, can you safely turn your powers of concentration upon the idea of opulence…. Make…your assertion of opulence the last in your list, as you make Love first. Call unto yourself spiritual insight, absolute unselfishness, desire for universal good, wisdom, justice, and usefulness, and last of all opulence. Think of yourself as possessed of all these qualities before you picture financial independence. For without love for your kind, without the desire for usefulness and the spiritual insight and the wisdom to be just before being generous, your money would bring you only temporary pleasure, and would do the world no good.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox, The Heart of the New Thought
…no individual operates in a vacuum. It would be absurd to deny the impact that the values and organization of the broader society have on us as individuals. In an effort to secure the ever-expanding productivity and consumption upon which its “health” depends, modern commercial culture vigorously promotes a “lack consciousness.” We buy things we don’t need (or even want), because we have become convinced that we will be somehow lacking or inferior without them. We do work we don’t want to do, because we have become convinced that there is a scarcity of good jobs and that we can’t create our own work. Thus, even while we amass more and more stuff, the feeling of abundance keeps eluding us. In addition to the role that the values of the broader society have in promoting a psychology of lack within the individual, the current organization of society poses institutional barriers to his or her creative development and financial independence.
—Laurence Boldt, The Tao of Abundance, Part 2
Daily I am astonished at how readily I believe that something I need is in short supply. If I hoard possessions, it is because I believe that there are not enough to go around…..
The irony, often tragic, is that by embracing the scarcity assumption, we create the very scarcities we fear. If I hoard material goods, others will have too little and I will never have enough, If I fight my way up the ladder of power, others will be defeated and I will never be secure. If I get jealous of someone I love, I am likely to drive that person away. If I cling to the words I have written as if they were the last of their kind, the pool of new possibilities will surely go dry. We create scarcity by fearfully accepting it as law, and by competing with others for resources as if we were stranded on the Sahara on the last oasis.
—Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak
November: Thanksgiving Day, harvest times, awareness of blessings, gratitude for gifts. It is significant and necessary for us to ponder deeply all that we have been given. If we reflect quietly and honestly, we can be almost overwhelmed by all that is ours. …God is lavish in love, generous in the outpouring of goodness. This great generosity can draw us to look at our own generosity….
—Joyce Rupp, Fresh Bread
Quiet Reflection Time:
What seed of abundance has, or is, being harvested in my life?
(a personal quality, some aspect of work, community or family life, some facet of a relationship with another person or with the Holy One…)
If I described my experience of abundance what would I include?
Time to Share:
The basket of abundance
Each one is given a small piece of paper on which to write five central words that name their abundance.
The basket of seeds is passed around. As each one places his/her paper in the basket the group responds with this blessing: May the harvest of your life contain countless seeds of love.
I will declare your greatness. They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness.
The Holy One is abounding in steadfast love. (Ps145:6-8)
Holy One, Giver of Abundant Gifts, we have received much more than we could imagine. May what has been given be shared generously so that others will also experience the fullness of your kindness. Amen.