For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. -- St. Matthew 25:29
Read the above verse again. Jesus apparently said that. "More will be given" to those who already have the most, and those who have nothing will have even more taken away. What could Jesus have been thinking?
Short answer: we don't know. But that's the beauty of parables. They remain open for debate and discussion 2,000 years after they were received.
On Sunday I'll suggest that what Jesus has said above is a truth of this world. It is true that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Over the past decade, that's been especially true in the United States. Income inequality is the highest it has been since 1929 (source: Piketty).
The response of the church to all of this has ranged from complicit to toothless in the course of 2,000 years, if not longer. We may even encourage the ruthless pursuit of capital that creates the inequality gap! I think Jesus tells us this story as a warning: if we don't do anything, or keep doing what faith communities have tended to do in the face of injustice, nothing will really change. The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, until there's a systemic failure, and the cycle repeats. We have a different calling: to do something different -- powerful -- alongside the work of the Spirit to change the "world as it is."
Our third quarter newsletter is linked to this letter. You'll see in it a church doing something different. We're showing up to community organizing training with the IAF. We're engaging in relationships that make a clear difference to refugee and immigrant neighbors. We're breaking the conventions of religion with our Evolve creation spirituality ministry. We're imagining new ways to engage children and youth in discipleship. And we're making disciples of one another. I give thanks to God for you and for the journey we are on.