Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Poor in G.R. - a series of posts"

Sunday in Grand Rapids. Kids of school age, and kids too young for school, and kids too old for high school. Woke up in my city this morning hungry. They went to bed last night or early this morning hungry. They will walk into the kitchen. There will be little food. Perhaps a few cans of beans from the food pantry handed out by those nice people? A cold can of beans for Sunday morning breakfast?

Then, perhaps in a suburbia coffee shop, I will be able to hear how 'those people' should get jobs. But you see, let's think about that. What job offers a living wage to someone who has no high school degree? What bus line does your business reside on so they could come and fill out an application? Never mind that the bus does not run at the hours you need her to work? How does someone get a 'starting job' without a means to move beyond that job? Why have we simplified our economic system to make the poor bad people and the wealthy good people?

When Jesus came, he flipped that system upside down. He spoke of the poor, the hungry, those who seek justice & mercy. These are the people who Jesus blessed. And yet... on this Sunday? I am sadly disappointed that too many of my suburbia friends won't let their pastors speak these kind of words.

These words are terrifying. These words don't bless our efforts to make a profit this past week. These words don't bless our desire to be safe in our country. These words don't resonate with sound economic principle.

These words actually speak to a different way of doing life. Good-wholesome. Life-giving. Hope-enabling. Mind-blowing. Goodness-of-life.

I long for my pastoral friends to be able to speak the fullness of the gospel. But I fear as long as they are not allowed. Because their jobs depend on it. That I will be able to write this series "Poor in G.R" for the rest of my life.

So be it. The alternative would suck my soul into hell... whatever that is

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:3-10)

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