A devotion for Wall Street

From Red Letter Christians:

The more I read the Gospels, the more they seem to confront the very patterns of the world we live in. At one point Mary, pregnant with Jesus cries out: “God casts the mighty from their thrones and raises the lowly… God fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich away empty…” You can’t help but think if she were alive in contemporary America some folks would try to accuse the Virgin Mother of being Marxist or promoting class warfare. But all through Scripture we see this – over 2000 verses about how God cares for the poor and most vulnerable.

What would Jesus say about Wall Street?

It doesn’t get much better than Luke chapter 12. Jesus begins by saying, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” And then, as per usual, he tells a story. The story is about a “rich man” whose business makes it big. He has so much stuff he doesn’t know where to put it all. So he decides, “This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones… and I’ll say to myself, ‘You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’” But Jesus says God looks down and is not happy. God says to the rich man, “You fool! This very night you will die — and what will happen to all your stuff?” And Jesus ends the teaching by saying this is how things will be for folks who store up stuff for themselves.

It does make you wonder what to do about 401k’s and pensions. But it seems pretty clear that Jesus isn’t a big fan of stockpiling stuff in barns and banks, especially when folks are dying of starvation and preventable diseases.

One of the constant threads of Scripture is “Give us this day our daily bread.” Nothing more, nothing less. Underneath this admonition is the assumption that the more we store up for tomorrow the less people will have for today. And in a world where 1% of the world owns half the world’s stuff, we are beginning to realize that there is enough for everyone’s need, but there is not enough for everyone’s greed. Lots of folks are beginning to say, “Maybe God has a different dream for the world than the Wall Street dream.”

Maybe God’s dream is for us to live simply so that others may simply live. Maybe God’s dream is for the bankers to empty their banks and barns so folks have enough food for today.

Woody Guthrie may be right. If Jesus came to Wall Street preaching the same message that he preached in Galilee… he might land himself on a cross again.

6 thoughts on “A devotion for Wall Street

  1. Well yes, for sure. You know that if St. Ronnie would be thrown out of the current Rethuglican Party, Jesus and his mom wouldn’t have a chance!

  2. Heck, after the Israelites of the 13th century, Jesus started the 2nd occupy movement of the Levant.

    But malignant christians think all of this is just a sign of the end so, you know, whatever. People gettin’ hurt and bad stuff happening only means the rapture is right around the corner. The more violent and ugly, the better.

  3. Not only that, but since the “modern” “Christian” believes in a prosperity gospel (you know, God WANTS you to be rich . . .)
    there’s little to no actual help now for the poor and downtrodden – it’s (thanks to BOTH political parties) “YOUR” problem if you’re homeless, disease plagued, depressed, mugged, broke, injured and/or unemployed. People are so depraved now that they hold the less fortunates and mentally impaired among us as hostages in order to get more for themselves.

    This is what the collapse of civilization looks like – and it’s only going to get worse as we go on.

  4. Its actually what got Jesus put on the cross the first time. He was arrested as a subversive and a terrorist who attempted to start a riot in the Temple driving out the money changers. Crucifixion was the ultimate punishment meted out mostly for rebellion. The two “bandits” were probably members of the Jewish Zealot rebellion. See John Dominic Crossan’s work God and Empire

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