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Rich and poor

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters. Did not God chose the poor to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Are not the rich oppressing you and dragging you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme the good name of the one that you belong to?” (James 2:5-7 NET)

I feel sluggish this morning. Up early with nothing to say and no energy to run despite the smiling fitbit on my nightstand. Sometimes it’s hard or inconvenient to keep writing about a certain topic or fit your whole post into a couple little verses. Listen, is the imperative request and I do want to listen. The poor are chosen for spiritual riches. Their heirs of the kingdom which traditionally I’ve thought of entirely to be in the future. But Jesus announces over again that the kingdom is here. Do you see it? It’s now and not yet.

 

This makes me think of the proverb which says something like: Give me neither poverty (lest I steal) nor riches (lest I forget God). It’s nice to live sort of in the middle without excessive worry over a lack of or excessive management of goods. Either end of the spectrum holds challenges and temptations. But likely the hungry, needy and wanting are more likely to seek something outside of themselves. They might be rich in faith by necessity because stuff does not show up for them any other way.

 

The wealthy have little need or at least are able to provide for their own needs and wants. But a wealthy person can still be lonely and spiritually poor. The wealthy are prone to oppress and mock.

 

Again, these are not absolute statements. Not every poor person is rich in spiritual goods and not every wealthy person is a mocking oppressor. But the tendencies exist and it’s good to remember that in the upside down kingdom of God, riches are measured in spiritual treasures, not piles of cash.

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