Reflection #12: Learnings From The Poor / A.J. Hendry

Reading: Luke 12

“Seek the Kingdom…”

What is it like to be told to sell what you have when you have nothing?

We live in a capatalist and consumeristic society. A society that conditions us to take, to gather, to hold on to things, yet Jesus challenges us to live in a differently. Don’t take, give. Sell what you have, give to the poor, don’t hoard your resources, share with the hungry, look out for the needs of others.

I’m very aware that the crowd milling around Jesus would have heard His words very differently than perhaps you and I do today. Many of those who followed Jesus were in poverty, they were the hungry, they were the ones in need, to them he says, seek the kingdom. Give, share, serve, for the Kingdom is not marked by coercive power, but by service and self sacrifice.

I think of many of my young people, of those who have lived on our streets, they have expierenced perhaps some of the most extreme poverty that exists within our country, and yet they live out of this ethic of the Kingdom. If you go and spend any time with our homeless whānau, one of the key thing’s that stands out is their generosity and service. They have so little, but they share so much. If one of their community is hungry, because they didn’t get a meal that day, they feed them. If someone in their community is cold and missing a blanket, they share what they have, for the Kingdom of God is within their midst.

But, what about me and you? Those who have so much to give?

Jesus says sell what you have, give to the poor, provide for the needs of others, what is our response?

Are you willing to share your resources to make sure that the poor in this country have enough to thrive and live? Would you be willing to give up some of your capital gains, if it meant that there were more resources to provide for those who need? Would you be willing to share your home with others, if it meant our whānau didn’t have to sleep on the street? Would you be willing to give what you have, in order care for those in need? Would you be willing to deal with the discomfort and disruption that would inevitably bring?

Following Jesus is not easy, but those who choose to do so are invited to lay down the concerns and priorities of the society we live in. Your comfort and security, your saving account, and financial stability, they are not priorities of the Kingdom.

The Kingdom is found when we forsake these things, letting go, and instead allowing ourselves to be spent in the service of others.

A.J. Hendry

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