Sojourners Magazine: August 2011
Mohandas Gandhi was keenly aware of the root causes of hunger, and he knew that the problem was not a lack of resources on God’s good earth. "There is enough for everyone's need," Gandhi said, "but not for everyone's greed."ECHO, a broad-based Christian organization in Florida, understands that principle. The group aims not just to eradicate perpetual hunger, as Fred Bahnson explains in this issue, but to help people all over the world develop the tools to live abundantly. As an ECHO staff member put it, "Redemption doesn't just start after we die. We can begin to experience life in all its abundance right here on earth."As Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann recently explained, faith in God’s bounty is the opposite of the myth that one can be self-sufficient. "Abundance narratives demand a firm grounding in a conviction about the reliability of God’s generous creation," Brueggemann told a conference in San Antonio this spring. "The earth is blessed. God intended the world to produce abundance."Koinonia Farm in Georgia has been practicing a theology of abundance for almost 70 years. Koinonia has stood as a beacon of gritty love and audacious peacemaking since its founding in the 1940s by Florence and Clarence Jordan, author of the Cotton Patch version of the New Testament. As Melissa Aberle-Grasse explains in "Growing Together," over the last decade Koinonia has experienced a renaissance, agriculturally and spiritually, thanks to a renewed commitment not only to permaculture but to the prophetic, community-based vision of the Jordans. Turns out, for the folks at Koinonia, sustainable farming and life in community are rooted in the same thing: faith in God's abundant love.