The first reading and the Gospel will bring us to the awareness that we don’t control God. God acts through whomever He wills, sometimes inside the church and sometimes through people who never have seen the inside of a church. Sometimes God works in our denomination and sometimes in denominations that we may denigrate and look down upon.
Moses’ only wish was that “all the Lord’s people would be prophets.” And Jesus, much like Moses, also will not stop those who are casting out demons in the name of Jesus, even though they are not part of the in crowd who has been following Jesus. Jesus said: “who ever is not against us is for us.”
Would that all of us who claim Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer would be so open and trusting of others who are not part of our church. God willing, we can move to unity, not only with our Christian brothers and sisters, but also with folks who are not now part of the Christian church.
And we may not ever agree on doctrine or dogma, but there is one thing we should all agree upon: how we treat our brothers and sisters who are poor and dispossessed. We can all agree that the current political landscape, for example, is
very scary for people, especially poor people.
I am reading the prophetic document called: “Priorities For A Faithful Budget, Acting with Mercy and Justice As One Nation Under God,” a call to action from a group of Christians, Muslims and Jews, submitted to the United States Congress on March 22, 2012. You may get it on-line. This document is prophetic; much like the Epistle of James.
James would certainly advocate for the Faith Budget. He said: “Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.”
As we watch our elected officials and those who seek office appear to be more concerned about the wealthy and their future than with those who are today, right now, suffering the pangs of hunger, suffering from illnesses that we can have treated by competent medical people, look at their children and shrivel up on the end-side knowing they have nothing to provide! We need a James right now!
We must stand with the poor at this time. We must raise our voices for the poor of our country who are falling through the cracks while the rich get richer.
If we allow this inequality to continue, we become the stumbling block to a more just budget, a more just society. James spoke out and got under peoples’ skin. Let’s us do the same. Learn the issues of this coming election and vote for those who best represent the poor and the powerless. And remember, nobody is perfect.
December 23, 2014 //
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