Skip to main content

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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t

Prayer Part 2 of 4

  This is the second of four weeks the narrative lectionary is focusing on the Lord's Prayer as found in Luke 11:2-4.  This week we are focusing on the second section: "Give us this day our daily bread." At the time and place that Jesus said this, bread was the center of every meal.  To his people, it had a long history of being a symbol for God's provision.  It was often used to refer to any meal or food, and in this case Jesus expands it to represent all of our needs.   A long time ago, in a place that had been ravaged with war, orphanages were overwhelmed with children.  In one of the facilities, the relief workers noted that the children had trouble falling asleep each night.  They struggled with anxiety, wondering if they would have food for the next day.  Their lack of sleep led to more anxiety and a troubling downward spiral of their mental and physical health.  In an effort to meet their needs the workers tried something new one night.  As they tucked each chi