A favorite story for the coming “new” year:
“Two brothers shared a farm. One brother was married and had seven children. The other brother was single. They worked hard and the land was good. Each year the harvest was abundant; and each year they split the wealth of the land evenly. They gathered the perfectly divided grain into their separate barns and thanked God for his goodness.
“One night the single brother thought to himself, ‘It is not right that we should divide the grain evenly. My brother has many mouths to feed and he needs more. I have only myself to look after. I can certainly get by with less.’ So each night the single brother would take grain from his barn and secretly transfer it to the barn of his married brother.
“That same night the married brother thought to himself, ‘It is not right that we should divide the grain evenly. I have many children who will look after me in my old age. My brother has only himself. Surely he will need to save more for the future.’ So each night the married brother would take grain from his barn and secretly transfer it to the barn of his single brother.
“Each night the brothers gave away their grain. Yet each morning they found their supply mysteriously replenished. They never told each other about this miracle.
“Then one night they met each other half way between the barns. They realized at once what had been happening. They embraced one another with laughter and tears.
On that spot they built a temple.”*
What have you been building with your life? What will you build in 2018? May our mutual care, covenantal love and duty create a sacred space and in turn hallow our world.*
*A rabbinical story as told by John Shea in An Experience Named Spirit (Chicago: The Thomas More Press, 1983), pp. 7-8.