Jesus spent time helping turn everything upside down and money was certainly one of the major themes that Jesus took and showed a great reversal. Remember how he praised the woman who gave the small coin because it was everything that she had? Remember how he upset the vendors at the Temple because they were disrupting the worship?
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about treasures and how they are the key to understanding our hearts.
He said that no one can serve two masters. That where our treasure is, this is where our hearts will be found. He also told us not to worry about money, that God takes care of the lillies and the birds. He goes so far as to say that "We cannot serve both God and money."
Where does this leave us in this culture? It takes so much money to live and it is so easy to get caught up by what is perceived as being necessary for life. It's so easy to forget that a good portion of the world goes to bed hungry.
Today I read about Haiti and that food is so scarce that they are eating mud cookies. Somedays that's all they eat; can you imagine?
I think often about the refugees in the Kamkuma Refugee camp for Sudanese. The United Nations has begun to systematically reduce the food availability so that the people leave because they don't have enough to eat. The only problem is that they don't have anywhere to go.
These stories are widespread; but they are only stories to most of us. We haven't ever experienced such hunger, such poverty.
Matthew 13 is a chapter that gives one Kingdom of God example after another. Jesus begins with the Sower parable where seeds either fall into hard soil, rocky soil, thorny soil or the fertile soil that absorbs and grows the seeds. I find it so interesting that Jesus states "The one who received the seed that fell among the thornes is the one who hears the word but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
Doesn't this describe our lives? We worry about paying our bills and we struggle because we don't have the latest (you name it...). We worry about not having enough.
Jesus helps us to reconsider what enough can be. He also shows us the answer at the end of Matthew 6 where he tells us "To seek first God's Kingdom and his righteousness (right living) and all these things will be given to us as well."
Once again, as we let go of the worry, the striving, the fear of not having enough, and begin to put Jesus' way first, we will find that we have enough and that the only thing missing is worry.
As we discover all that God wants to do in Missio Lux, I dream about living as a people counter culturally to our culture. We aren't set apart because we are better than anyone or judging the people around us, we are set apart because we live in financial freedom and with that stress lifted off of us, people will take notice and ask us "What makes you different?" It's at that point that we can share the very good news of Jesus' reverse priorities that lead us to freedom.
What's your response to these thoughts?
Where do you struggle with worry?
Where do you grieve over the poor and forsaken?
What do you want to see Missio Lux do to help bring forth true financial freedom in our midst?