Sunday, October 19, 2008

Poverty: What Me? I Don't Give a Shit



There is something that is stiring inside of me. Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to try to come to grips with it. It is going to be hard to explain and share, but we will see where it goes.

The post that you are reading is not going to be mine. This post is much better than I could ever do. It comes from one of my new blogs that I read called: Pragmatic - Eclectic. The post hits a homerun in my opinion:


As Jesus started on his way, the Church ran up to him and fell on it's knees before him. "Good teacher," it asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother."

"Teacher," the Church declared, "all these I have kept since I was young."

Jesus looked at the Church and loved it. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

At this the the Church's face fell. It went away sad, because it had great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

Poverty means illiteracy, inadequate medical care, disease and brain damage. Church when you tuck your children in this night - Thank God you were not born in the Third World relying on you for help. This night through your inaction thousands will die. I praise God that He is biased towards the poor, He needs to be due to our sinful unconcern.

After all, it is the poor who will judge us. It is the poor person we encounter in the crucified and risen Christ who calls us to account for our actions, and it is the poor person of Jesus Christ who says to us, "whatever you did or did not do for 'the least of these' you did or did not do for me."

"I have three things I'd like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a shit. What's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night." T.Campolo

There are 2,000 verses of Scripture that tell us we must be committed to protecting the poor and the oppressed ...

"I see Christ in the ... poor. Sometimes we meet Jesus rejected and covered in filth in the gutter. Sometimes we find Jesus stuffed into a drain, or moaning with pain from sores or rotting with gangrene, or even screaming from the agony of a broken back. The most distressing disguise calls for even more love from us." Mother Teresa

I posted these thoughts a few days ago.

How can the Western Church - share in the eschatological feast, some call communion, if we don't display God's future in which all will be equally fed, all will be equally clothed, all will be equally treated, all will be equally loved and all will join together in universal praise?

If we eat the body and blood of Christ in expensive churches without care for the hungry, the sacrament is no longer a fortaste of things to come but a trivialised picnic to which not everyone is invited. So Church - OPEN YOUR DOORS - invite ALL to come to the feast. Jesus is saying to you this day - Church go sell all you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.

Church you got fancy expensive audio visual gear? How about a cappucino machine out front? Nice comfy chairs? Yeah ... you look really pretty .... in a wordly kind of a way. It is my prayer this night, you will hear in your dreams - the sounds of a grieving mother as she tries to nurse her dead child from her dry breast and see her mouth the words to you - help me, help me, please.....


This is so powerful.

I find myself in a struggle. I believe that we need to be doing so much more for our community. I feel that my family does and my church family. I am trying to get a better grasp on the problem.

This morning, I was having a conversation about my heart for the hurting and the poor and the need for more outrach and our church needed to step up to the plate more and it was drowned out a little by the sound of: we need more money to fix the building, we need money to pay bills, we need to concentrate on reaching families that will give, so we can have extra money to give to the needy ....... ugh

So, here is the deal, over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some more thoughts and stories on poverty and how they may be insecting our lives. I will also then begin sharing a project that I am going to attempt to work on to bring awarness to our community, both the church community and the community )county) that I live in.

To quote Mother Theresa:

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.


To quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.


To quote Gandhi

Poverty is the worst form of violence


Let me see where this journey will take me.

4 comments:

Amy said...

Good post, Jeff. I'm still thinking through it.

Jeff Greathouse said...

amy:

when you think through it, please let me know what you are thinking.

Doorman-Priest said...

Jeff, I think you are on a roll here.

Jeff Greathouse said...

DP:

thanks for the words