What if Jesus’ message is this – pay far less attention to whether you qualify or are recognized as generous, and far more attention to meeting the needs of the poor? Jesus seems to want religious communities in which those with abundance give enough that the community can and does care for the poor and vulnerable.
If we want to follow Jesus’ example, we will show up where decisions are made and where our faith is proclaimed, just as Jesus showed up in the temple during Passover and demanded that sufficient resources go toward serving the poor and vulnerable.
We are not to turn the poor into stories that inspire us to be better people. We are to see them as they are when they are suffering to the point of destitution. And we are called to see ourselves as we are, inspired and called by faith to demand justice, especially from our churches and religious leaders.
This message is from the Bible study “Be like the widow” by Emma Crossen in the July/August 2015 Gather magazine.
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