The Economics of Jesus
Chuck Williams of Mesa, AZ, USA
Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. -Psalm 119:5-6 (The Message)
Phillip Gulley in his book If God Is Love poses some rather challenging propositions. One of them is the economics of Jesus. As a church, we have been charged with recognizing the worth of all people, globally. As I consider that position, my vision reverts to the father and daughter lying dead in the water at our border. His t-shirt is stretched around his lifeless body and that of his young daughter. This was the father’s way of making sure they would not be separated-even in death. They were the victims of an economy which could not begin to reflect Jesus but one of greed, selfishness, and lust for power.
I recall the rich young ruler who went away from Jesus sorrowing when he was told to sell all he had, and “come and follow me.” There are some who say that Jesus talked only about inner feelings: attitude, character, motives, personality, not to be taken literally. This story doesn’t talk about these psychological characteristics but about taking action. And it was the wealthy young ruler’s inability to act that caused him to go away sorrowing.
The church today needs to concern itself with the inability to act. We need to become familiar with those agencies which can assist a homeless person or one who is battling a drug problem, a family whose heat is being shut off. If we find we are not positioned to provide immediate help, we need to form alliances with those agencies who can take action. This may mean we need to develop a line item in our budgets to assist those organizations.
“Give to everyone who begs from you and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42). May we have the courage to act.
Let your heart be broken for a world in need. -Bryan Jeffrey Leech, \xc2\xa9 1976 Fred Bock Music Company, Community of Christ Sings 353
Lament is an expression of our grief, sorrow, and sometimes confession to God amid the brokenness, injustice, and suffering of the human family. Lament is a major theme of the psalms and an invitation to “let our hearts be broken” as we humbly pray for awareness of right and restorative action. Spend time each day this month practicing the prayer of Lament.
Loving God, break my heart open to my own and others’ suffering because of injustice. Help me stay with what is real even when it is uncomfortable.
Forgiving God, grow in me an awareness of the ways that I consciously and unconsciously contribute to systems of violence, suffering, and injustice.
Healing God, open my eyes to invitations to relieve the physical and spiritual suffering of others.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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