Around the world as here at home, the flow of goods, means, monies, and resources, is stopped up and held in stagnant pools. And, while there are exceptions that prove the rule, the church has largely left this process unquestioned and unchecked, benefiting and profiting from it as we have over the millennia. We have ignored the very teachings of Jesus which envisions and hopes for a world where resources and money are not accumulated but distributed. Where the flow of health and wealth isn’t directed at the followers of Jesus and the church that purports to follow in his name, but rather passes through us and out to a world desperately in need of healing and hope.
The costs of following Jesus include all we possess, and all we hold dear. But like a mother concerned for her children, Jesus seems to believe that the old ways, the ways of neighbor love and welcoming the stranger, the ways of treating everything as gift instead of possession, the ways of grace and peace, are ways worth passing along, worth giving our lives over to. Choose these ways, he is saying. Choose life.
Great sinner that I am, what I adore about Jesus is that he has the audacity to not only welcome sinners like me at his table but he chooses to be seen publicly feasting with my kind and loving us in public. And let’s face it, the stories at the sinners’ table where Jesus is are juicier and we sinners are far more interesting that those seated at the judgy, self-righteous, holier-than-thou tables.