April 14, 2009

there was not a needy person among them

When Jesus tells the young rich man that he should sell all his possessions, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow him - we say, that was an isolated case, you don't have to do that.  And, as a good capitalist with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, I tend to think that's right.  God is not a socialist.  But neither is God a capitalist.

Perhaps getting rid of all material possessions is a bit much, but the Church, in Acts, has one standard that I think we should all strive for, "there was not a needy person among them."  A young-ish man from the church I served in Maryland once said to me, "I don't mind that people have second homes, I just think everybody should have a first home first."

When we, as the Church, pray to a God who "established as new covenant of reconcilation" it seems to me that we are talking about a God who longs for a world where there is not a needy person among us.  It is difficult, seperating wants from needs.  Does everybody NEED an ipod?  Probably not.  Does everybody NEED a roof under which to live?  Yeah, I think so.  It is difficult, people will abuse the system.

But, it seems to me, the system will be self-policing for when no one has need, no one has reasonn to cheat or steal.  "There was not a needy person among them" is a high bar to live up to, but I think it might be time to at least start trying.

No comments: