Wednesday, February 11, 2009
This Present Crisis
Wow... it has been several days since I last blogged... too much work and too little time... Since my last post, the current economic crisis has hit very close to home, as one of my own loved ones has become one of the 20,000 jobs lost every day in the US. These are tough times, things are going from bad to worse, and while everyone is looking to the government and the Obama administration for bailout, stimulus, and recovery miracles, it gives us Christians, who belong to an alternative kingdom and are citizens of a different city, cause to reflect...
What would our world look like if we ordered our life and society by God's politics? When Israel asked for a king (I Samuel 8) God's heart was broken. Through Samuel, God warned the people - you don't know what you are asking for. A king (human government) will only take and take - take your children and conscript them into military service, take your money and spend it on their own luxuries and protection, take your freedom and turn you into slaves of the very government you crave and believe will protect you and provide for you. (Does this sound familiar?) What God is really saying is, "Why can't I be your king? Why won't you trust me to provide for you and protect you?"
What would our world look like if we followed God's economic recovery plan? If Jubilee and the year of release (from debts) was not just an ideal, but an economic reality... If the wealth with which we were blessed was really available for others, if there really were "no needy person among us" but those who had plenty shared from their abundance with those in need... What if, during this time of economic crisis, we actually found it better to live more simply, more connected with family (perhaps even families living together under the same roof so that the generations could re-connect), becoming a society of inter-dependence and mutual support?
What would our world look like if we paid attention to God's environmental concerns? If we entered into a season of de-accumulation, because most of us have way too much stuff that adds nothing to our lives, but actually takes us captive (we don't own our possessions, they have come to own us)... if we would dare to live more simply and more as a partner and caregiver of God's creation rather than her master, if we embraced our vocation to enjoy the abundance woven into the fabric of this universe rather than exploit it?
This present crisis calls for every believer and every church to bear witness to the world that there really is a way to live by faith rather than fear, to live into hope rather than out of despair, and to practice generosity, compassion, and hospitality in a time when most are closing their hearts (and their purse-strings) in a spirit of self-preservation. Where does our help come from? Our help comes from Yahweh, the One who made heavens and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2) Perhaps as we go through this season of testing, as God's people, we will learn to reorder our lives according to God's politics, God's economy, and yes, God's environmental policies - living more simply, more freely, more connected, more trusting (and less fearful) and more like Jesus.
What a wonderful world that would be!
Soli Deo gloria