Good morning and please see the message for today below:
October 28, 2021
I was reminded a few days ago of how the bartering system used to work for those who did not have enough monies to pay for services or goods. As I watched a group of Latino men working together to complete several projects, I was intrigued as they worked in unison so fervently. A greater interest was that at the end of the day there was no exchange of monies. It reminded me of the days on the farm when the sharing of skills was far greater than payment for services. I watched while one group cut down the corn, another grinded the corn into feed, another person milked the cow, another tended the garden, another worked on the commercial lawnmowers, another fed the sheep and cows, another gathered the eggs, etc. I was so fascinated by all of these men working together that I had to ask the owner of the commercial landscaping business how he paid all these men. His response was, “They get paid with the eggs, milk, meat, produce out of the garden, etc. in exchange for their services rendered today.” It was a sight that took me back to the good old days of bartering.
A bartering system is when one person or a group of people will exchange a skill, trade, service or goods for something of value from another person. The pandemic has provided many opportunities for us to barter. I can remember when I moved to the rural area of Brandywine, a group of men would exchange services as a means of saving money. These men would come together to build a barn in exchange for services of others who would make homemade molasses. Women would make quilts in exchange for other commodities. Homemade butter may have been exchanged for a dozen of fresh eggs. A quart of preserves may have been exchanged for a quart of homemade pickles.
A good example of bartering in the Bible is in Genesis 47:17, “So they brought their livestock to Joseph and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys, and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year.”
There are times we barter in small ways without understanding or realizing we are making an exchange of goods or services with each other. Just the other day one of my neighbors suggested he help me put metal on a building in exchange for assisting him in putting up a fence for his goats. Other instances have been the exchange of vegetables in the garden in exchange for my favorite candies and deserts from friends. It is not required or expected that people would make the exchange, but I believe the exchange is a symbol of love, respect and appreciation. There is one friend of ours who always gives me a banana for the goods given to her. I believe we would have a greater sense of community if we did more bartering. Sometimes God calls us to share with those who are in need and live a generous life. Sharing can be a type of bartering that not only blesses those we give or share with, but it also blesses us as well. When you can barter and share with others, there should be a feeling of joy for the generosity given and received.
Hebrews 13:16, “And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
If you are familiar with the Amish community, they are noted for bartering within their own community; However, I understand they prefer to barter even with the English rather than take their horses and carriages on the road. In other words, they may provide vegetables and canned goods to you for providing transportation.
Again, bartering is a way of building relationships in a community and family of people. Try it, and I believe you will feel like a brand-new person. It is not necessarily done to save money, for sometimes it is simply the thought of fellowshipping and sharing.
The system of bartering is not a practice of the past, for many who do business on the internet find it to be a means of doing business. I am aware of so some folk who have enrolled in a barter exchange. The exchange helps a person or group find what they need by searching for the product of service you desire or need. The advantage of the barter exchange is that it gives you a broader network to exchange with.
Just try bartering in some very simple ways, and I guarantee you will appreciate yourself and others even more.
Look at it this way, Jesus gave His life so that we might live. Jesus Christ paid the death penalty for the sinner so that God could set the sinner free and declare him righteous.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor