Whenever I engage with Scripture, I notice that God always chooses a side— and that side is always with the marginalized and oppressed. That side is with the poor.
The word “poor” does not exist in a vacuum. To be poor means that someone must be rich. There must be a power dynamic present to stretch and separate populations from one another, thereby creating those who have power and those who are oppressed by power. God calls for every person to live into the fullness and wholeness of God’s good creation. To be poor is to be denied full personhood—the person God created you to be in the fullness of imago dei (the image of God).
In the person of Jesus Christ, God chooses to side with the poor—not just in the vulnerability of a newborn child, but also in Mary and Joseph’s situation, bringing Jesus into the world in a manger. Jesus spoke frequently about wealth, challenging all of us with access to it.
As followers of God, our call is to side with the poor.
This message is excerpted from “God chooses a side” by Tuhina Verma Rasche in the April 2020 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Dag Hammarskjöld, renewer of society, 1961. Today is the 15th Sunday after Pentecost.
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