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Forgive the Debt! - Deut. 15:1-2 & 7-11


The narrative lectionary reading for this week was from Deut. 15:1-2 & 7-11.  In this scripture Moses is telling the people of Israel that all debt is to be forgiven every 7 years.  This is a radical practice at that time...I mean...that is a radical practice NOW!  From what I can tell this practice was never fully implemented. What would it be like if it was?

I can't imagine the republican, evangelical, Christians accepting this as a good thing.  I feel like it would be resisted with violence if we tried to implement it now.  Is this a sign that we are off the mark a little?  Do we need to re-calibrate?

Moses went on to explain that the poor will always be with us, but that this was a way for us  to be kind to the poor.  This was an exercise of the heart.  Furthermore he forbade us to withhold loans to the poor when the 7th year was approaching.  Moses knew how this would just hurt the poor more.

It all makes me think of the parable of the workers in the vineyard.  Those that arrived first and those that arrived at the last hour all received the same pay, and the early arrives were livid.  Jesus explained that it was up to the vineyard owner to decide what each was paid and that they should focus on receiving what they agreed upon instead of getting bitter about the generosity of the vineyard.  Is all of this pointing to and preparing us for the day when "every knee will bow" and all will be saved?  Will the gates of Hell fail to hold anyone because of the radical love of our savior?  The shepherd chasing down every last sheep? 

I don't know, but either way, I know we are called to more radical love than we are currently living.  May God help us to be more generous as individuals, as well as our nation as a whole.

Check out my video on the same topic on YouTube @monasticpastor

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