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August 18, 2015

The good news for today

Jesus says “This is the truth I am telling you: it will be hard for somebody who is rich to enter the realm of what’s right. (Matthew 19)

This section of Matthew’s Gospel directs a conversation to you about wealth and power, as well as about who actually gets into the “kingdom of heaven” and who finds it hard to. It concludes with, “Many who are first shall be last and the last shall be first.” (I think He was laughing by the time this conversation ends.)

Consistently Jesus tells you that if you are rich, it’s hard for you. Why? What makes it harder than that camel passing through the eye of a needle? What makes it so hard?

When you’re comfortably snug in your “comfort zone,” easy about finances and your future, settled in your routines, with reasonable health—what needs do you have?  You attend to your job and friends, enjoy a social life, watch TV shows you like, spend time on your hobby, and judge your life a smooth ride though time.

How easy it becomes to forget that what you have is all Gift. How hard to appreciate the Neediness we share—how you and I are interdependent. How easy is the busy life of being passively alive—and no more! How hard to notice others’ lives—poorer people, the widowed lonely seniors, the people in jail and nursing homes. You just don’t see them—in more ways than one—and you neglect them.

Rich, powerful people easily become an otiose god. The Good News is that discomfort, confrontations and, above all, neediness remind you of your common humanity, of our need for others—and how it is in serving—truly serving—one another that we come to “power.”

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