It can get discouraging watching the news – violence, poverty, corruption etc. The problems seem so complex and unsolvable but the answer has always been there, so simple!
It was delivered to us by a lowly carpenter two thousand years ago, yet we haven’t implemented it. The answer is love (or it might be more clearly stated compassion). You see if you love someone you share with them, even down to your last mouthful. Jesus statement “sell all that you have and give to the poor,” or Acts, “All that believed were together and had all things common,” sound pretty scary, but imagine if everyone actually did that. Not at the barrel of a gun (as in communism) but voluntarily out of love, there would be plenty for all. God has always given enough it’s just not shared out evenly. (I just read in among the many articles regarding the “Paradise Papers” half the world’s wealth is in the hands of just eight people – imaging sharing that out!) Capitalism and our various economic systems are not Christian ideologies, quite the reverse in fact. Sharing would end world poverty and much of the disease prevalent in poor nations (also probably in rich ones too, as the wealthy no long overindulged lol!) What about the loafers? I hear someone ask. Again simple, Love does its best and works hard for the sake of others. Communism, though admittedly a lot more biblical than capitalism, left out the love part (not to mention God) – that’s why it didn’t work.
“Do unto others as you’d have them do to you,” that means wars would cease – you can’t kill/hurt someone you love! Crime would cease because you also don’t steal from someone you love. Overall health would improve as greedy corporations, brought to their knees by love, ceased polluting and destroying the earth and big pharma became benign at last.
Of course I’m a dreamer, such changes would take hundreds of years to implement even were all to be willing (and many are not) as Jesus said “how hard it is for the wealthy to enter into the kingdom”. The change would need to be gradual one heart at a time. But it annoys me when I hear folks blame things on God. He gave us a good plan in the beginning, but we thought we were wise (what comes of listening to “serpents”) and put our own plans into action instead. You can see where that brought us! Then Jesus came to give us the plan again, and at first it worked, till the church itself became part of “the establishment” and compromised to stay safely under that umbrella, gradually getting further and further sucked in.
I have little hope of these changes taking place, (at least till Jesus returns to finally take over before we wipe ourselves out). It’s hard for most folks to even think outside the box of our present economic systems etc. but then there are always those wonderful individuals, who warm the heart by their courage in following the true plan for mankind, those of whatever religion, creed, or lack thereof, whose love and compassion overcome their fears to give all and in giving all find all, for “God is love.”
A debate is being played out on my private face book page regarding the shaming of rich, high salaried, MPs who voted for a 30% cut in benefit payments for the disabled.(You can guess which side I’m on lol!)
I’ve always had an “out of the box” type view of life. Many concepts that are widely accepted never made sense to me. For example the concept that the gifted in society (whether by background, inheritance, or talent) are entitled to a better life style than their “inferiors”. To me the more talented/endowed you are the greater your responsibility to use those gifts to help the less fortunate. For that matter the whole economic system under which we live has always seemed evil to me.
God put enough food/resources etc. for everyone to live a good life, but when some get greedy others lack. (And yes it is that simple)!I’ve heard all the excuses, why it is the way it is, but the basic bottom line is, it’s that way because we accept the concept. We can’t see out of the box!
Don’t get me wrong I believe everyone should work (I’d even say it’s a human need)and I have little time for lazy folks, but why the assumption that that work should generate money or be profitable, which perpetuates the system? Some of the most needed work does not generate income.
I guess I was a born “hippy” and have lived too close to Jesus to renounce the old Bible teaching, “he that is greatest among you, let him be servant of all.”
Wow! I saw this great quote on someone’s blog along with an excellent article and it really wowed me. (If it was your blog please feel free to put a link – I got sick and lost track, sorry). The quote says it all what can I add.
Ten Christmas thoughts we might forget:
- Mary and Joseph became Middle Eastern refugees!
- Mary was a single mum! She would have been ostracized maybe even stoned to death if Joseph hadn’t believed the angel.
- Joseph probably got the blame for “knocking up Mary” causing a shockingly hasty marriage.
- Joseph was a step dad to a child not his own.
- He was a manual worker and probably got pretty dirty and sweaty.
- They were poor and lived in an occupied country.
- Shepherds were looked on as very “dodgy characters” in those days.
- Stables and mangers (even forming part of a relative’s house as is now suspected from historical research) are not 5 star hotels.
- They were probably very thankful for the wise men’s gifts (how else would they finance a move to Egypt?)
- We look back and glorify the story but for Mary and Joseph (as in all real life adventures) it must have been tough, humiliating and more than a bit scary! I honor their faith and yieldedness.
A friend shared how she was dreading Christmas.
“Why?” I asked, sad she didn’t share my joy.
She explained, every year she has to suffer affluent, obnoxious relatives lecturing her about her alternate lifestyle, and how she’s afraid her son might feel bad with his more simple presents etc. (she’s an artist and lives on a canal boat with her partner and son – lovely lady!). I suggested, enduring the day for the sake of family unity, but having a separate Christmas of their own before or after. She liked the idea.
Pondering about it later I thought how much closer she was to the real story.
The true wonder of Christmas is that God didn’t choose an affluent Roman villa, or well to do folks. He chose a humble middle eastern village under enemy occupation, a place among animals, probably a bit smelly and definitely poor. He didn’t go with the “status quo”.
Nowadays the spirit of Christmas is often camouflaged, distorted by greedy, media advertising. Maybe that’s why my daughter and I are jumping up and down (sometimes literally) with joy that its “that season” while others seem bogged down in preparations etc.