Tag Archives: prison

Lord of the Lies

Trump_Russian_Cash.jpg

The #BLOTUS, our Liar-in-Chief, is a racist, Putin Wannabe, or he is a victim of blackmail. Either way, he needs to be impeached yesterday. Most crime families end up in prison. Should this one be any different?

Jesus said what?

I don’t think Jesus really said that. At least. I cannot find it anywhere in the four gospels with which I am familiar.

But what I do find is a clear and direct mandate for all followers of Christ to treat everyone we meet, especially the poor, the hungry, and the rejected, as if they are the Christ. I read straightforward and unambiguous commands by Jesus for his disciples to feed the hungry, visit those in prison and to help those in need.

The only thing needed to reach out to help the poor is to love one another just as Christ loves us.

“how dare you defraud the Lord?

“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?”
John Wesley

The founder of Methodism was plain spoken. No one ever was confused about where Wesley stood on an issue. And from his earliest ministry Wesley stood alongside those whom Jesus identified as the “least of these,” the poor, the hungry, the widow and orphan, the stranger, the one in prison.

And John Wesley never shied away from talking about money, either. These words, first uttered in the 18th century, need to be taken to heart by all of us who call ourselves Christians today.

Our stewardship of the bountiful resources entrusted to us is critical to the depth of our discipleship. The acquisition and hording of great wealth is morally indefensible. Hording more, spending more for other than necessities in a world where 25,000 of our family die every day from hunger can not be justified.

Wesley is right. How dare we defraud our Lord by applying His gifts for any other purpose than feed those who are starving?

recognizing the voice of Jesus

Father, This morning, the cries of the hungry are overwhelming. This morning, the cries of the politically and economically exploited are overwhelming. This morning, the cries of those in prison and under torture are overwhelming. This morning, the cries of parents who know that their children are doomed to stunted and warped lives are overwhelming.

Help us, most merciful God, to hear the voice of Your Son in all of these cries. Help us to recognize the cries we hear as calls to faithfulness and deeper discipleship. Grant us the wisdom to respond to all these cries with grace and compassion, and grant us the power of the Holy Spirit to respond to these cries with both justice and mercy. Amen

a “holey” gospel

“For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved. (RESV – Richard E. Stearns Version)”
Richard Stearns, The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? the Answer That Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World     

This contemporary translation of Matthew by Richard Stearns in The Hole in Our Gospel calls us to look at our lifestyles with new eyes.  We take our overly consumptive and wasteful habits for granted, while surrounded by those who are dying for lack of what we mindlessly throw away. Where’s the gospel in that?

The good news for the poor would be that those of us so blessed to have all we need would welcome them just as we proclaim we would welcome the Christ. Hopefully, we would not ignore the King of Kings. Why then do turn a deaf eyes to the cries of “the least of these?”  As Stearns points out, our gospel has become far too holey to be any earthly good.

for this time and this place

There is a convergence today between the Biblical view of Jesus as Liberator, and the cry of oppressed peoples for liberation. For our own day, to “see the world through eyes other than our own” has simply got to mean seeing it through the eyes of the poor and dispossessed. When the story of Jesus and the story of human oppression are put side by side, they fit. They are simply different versions of the same story.

The cry of the hungry is overwhelming. The cry of the politically and economically exploited is overwhelming. The cry of those in prison and under torture is overwhelming. The cry of parents who know that their children are doomed to stunted and warped lives is overwhelming….

There may have been other emphases needed at other points in Christian history when talking about Jesus as Liberator, but I am persuaded that for this time and this place, the claim of Jesus to bring freedom, and the cry of the oppressed peoples for freedom, converge and cannot be separated. – Robert McAfee Brown

What is true freedom? There are many competing definitions. However, whatever definition we choose, we need to remember that freedom means responsibility. Freedom is not just liberation from something, it’s liberation for something.

Jesus as Liberator

 

There is a convergence today between the Biblical view of Jesus as Liberator, and the cry of oppressed peoples for liberation. For our own day, to “see the world through the eyes other than our own” has simply got to mean seeing it through the eyes of the poor and dispossessed. When the story of Jesus and the story of human oppression are put side by side, they fit. They are simply different versions of the same story. The cry of the hungry is overwhelming. The cry of the politically and economically exploited is overwhelming. The cry of those in prison and under torture is overwhelming. The cry of parents who know that their children are doomed to stunted and warped lives is overwhelming. . . . There may have been other emphases needed at other points in Christian history when talking about Jesus as Liberator, but I am persuaded that for this time and this place, the claim of Jesus to bring freedom, and the cry of the oppressed peoples for freedom, converge and cannot be separated.

                                                                                                                                        Robert McAfee Brown