Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Thought for Wednesday 4/17/13

“Remove me from falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches.  Feed me with the food I need, or I shall be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’, or I shall be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:8-9 NRSV

Shane Claiborne, a writer, evangelist, and disciple, says he heard a preacher some time back make this statement: “There is plenty in the world to see to our needs; there is just not enough to see to our greed”.  In a time when many claim the earth’s resources are drying up (thus justifying birth control AND abortion as well as hoarding, ironically in the name of our Lord), we have been convinced over time that it’s every man for himself!  In this we justify hoarding resources to see to our own needs first.  After these things are done, IF there is anything left over, we might give something to the Church and we might give something to some other charity.  A safe, middle-class, American sense of theology has given us permission to do these things.

Yet we cannot ignore the very prayer Jesus taught, “give us today our daily bread”.  How much do we think we need?  We convince ourselves that the Lord wants us to be financially secure (where in the scriptures does it even suggest such a thing?), or there is that careless and cheap theology floating about that convinces us our Lord wants us to be materially wealthy (prosperity gospel).  In the middle of it all, we have lost all sense of who we are as disciples of Christ for this reason alone: we do not trust our Lord.  And if we do these things with no thought toward others, as Jesus clearly taught, I dare say we do not even KNOW our Lord, the “homeless Rabbi” who owned nothing and yet gave all He did have – His life (Shane Claiborne).  So it is not a matter of what we might be willing to give; rather it becomes a matter of what we are willing to give up altogether.

Our theology does not start with what we ought to do, however.  Our theology begins with what we need to know.  From this we find our place, and in this we find our abundance according to what is already written in the scriptures and not according to what we make up for ourselves, as the writer also states: “Do not add to His words, or else He will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar” (Proverb 30:6).

It is the theology of “enough”, and we have it.  Perhaps it is we have yet to discover it.


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