Christ’s Peace Bath friends and family! This month marks the holiday season. The time to be grateful and generous. All our prayers are recognition of all our blessings and praying that God be bountiful to those who are not as blessed. We pray that we might be a small part in God’s plan to care for the needy. But is that realistic?
Poverty plays a major theme as we read the Bible. Deuteronomy offers commandments of how to care for our neighbor, biblical prophets denounce oppressing the poor, The Gospels proclaim bringing good news to the poor, and Paul’s epistles instruct the followers to offer mutual solidarity through the collection for the poor. The Bible reminds us over and over that God hates poverty and has commanded us to end poverty by forgiving debts, raising wages, outlawing slavery and restructuring society around the needs of the poor. Jesus spent his last few days on earth reminding his followers that he’s going to be killed for bringing God’s reign to earth, and it is their responsibility to continue the quest for justice. This is our charge. Jesus came to bring good news to the poor. We are not called to eliminate poverty, we are called to continue Christ’s quest for justice. As we give generously this holiday season, let us be mindful of why we give and whose mission we’re continuing and how we can respect and uplift all of God’s creation of humanity.