Scripture Reading: Psalm 62:5-10
Those of low estate are but a breath,
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion,
and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them. –1 Corinthians 62:9-10
God is magnanimous. having been made in the image of God, we are fully capable of being magnanimous too. So why aren’t we? And, why are we sometimes guilty of wrapping greed in sanctity?
1. having, showing, or suggesting nobility of feeling and generosity of mind: devoid of meanness or pettiness
2. showing or suggesting a lofty and courageous spirit.
The Indian Removed of the 19th century dubbed Manifest Destiny was nothing, but greed run amok. Slavery, often justified by using Biblical quotes, provided labor that garnered greater profits for their owners. Today, companies not paying a living wage, reap the fruits of their employees’ labor driving the stock market to record highs while forcing their staff to rely on food stamps, Medicaid, and child care subsidies. Our society disparages people receiving these benefits. Private prisons, to make a profit, rely on an ample, and continuous stream of persons convicted of crimes and have little motive to rehabilitate them. The military industrial complex depends on war or the fear of war to be successful. And there is no question in my mind that our so-called immigration problem could be quickly solved if some folks weren’t profiting greatly off the backs of undocumented aliens.
So how do we move this mountain of greed and attain the abundance that Jesus desires for all of God’s children? A first step might be revisiting what that abundance looks like and what it means to have enough.
Regarding our epidemic of greed, faith groups universal must ascertain whether they are contributing to the problem through investments or even underpaying their staff. Individuals too would reap the benefits of examining their investments, attitudes, and behaviors. Justice requires us all to speak for those without voice or power.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we get caught in the grip of greed. Show us ways to live your love in all aspects of our lives. Amen.