Monday, October 20, 2008

Blogging Towards Sunday
October 19th
Matthew 6:16-34

Jesus for President:
wall street main street plumbers

financial planning wealth distribution
and life orientation

This past week has seen ups and downs and downs and ups. Personal incomes wiped away. Retirements postponed. And a plumber, delinquent in paying taxes and seemingly fickle in voting records, set the tone for the political realm. The Presidential Debate focused on economics: basically trying to reassure us that the bad guys (aka the stinkingly rich and selfish fund managers) on Wall Street were to bla
me for all our woes. If we make them pay, literally with taxes and figuratively with regulation, than we can feel better about ourselves. What neither Senator pointed out what was Jesus (my candidate, though he never shows up in those polls either on CNN or FOX!) looks to a different way. He'd say you all are guilty, responsible and part of the problem. We all hedge our bets, trying to protect ourselves with financial planning. Now protection isn't a bad thing, and I don't believe that Jesus was down on the wealthy. Rather he's pointing out that God has a bigger persepctive: more than being focused on financial planning for rainy or retirment days, Jesus invites and challenges those who follow him to re-orient their lives, to recognize what belongs to God and what belongs to Caeser (Uncle Sam or Mr. Merril Lynch). What serves as the foundational frame for our world-view? Is it mistrust: that there's not enough to go around, that someone will get us and ours if we don't get them and theirs first? Or is it trust, trust (not naively in our equally messed up and selfish neighbors) that God wants something bigger, better and more beautiful for us: to live and be cared for like the birds of the airs and the grass of the field, in mutuality, inter-dependent community and grace. (Read the pages below 116-118 of Jesus for President for a radical concise interpretation of this passage. Click on the images to make them bigger and easier to read).A great old hymn is entitled "Count your blessings" ... count them, or name them, one, by one in order to see what God has done. It's not naive nor ignorant (even though our materialistic uber-consummation society tells us so) to recognize what we've been given, to call a gift a gift, and to respond in gratitude and trust that the giver will keep giving.

What kind of a presidential platform would that be? Not even Nader goes that far. I wonder if Tina Fey will start doing Jesus too?

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