Monthly Archives: December 2013

The 1% and Advent

I saw this video Wealth Inequality in America today and it made me sick. I know that this is true but have no idea what to do about it. Perhaps sharing this will be some small contribution. Remember that this is about wealth in the United States. If you include the world even our poor are rich.
As I think about Christmas and the teachings of Jesus about equality and loving one another, I wish that humanity would learn that when everyone is cared for the world is a better place. Humans are so easily ruled by ego, by desire, by greed. I believe that it is work to avoid temptation. Perhaps it is written into our DNA so we can survive but the reality is that we are social beings and survival isn’t individual but communal. We could enact laws to insure the ideal in the video for our country but those in power are among the wealthiest and don’t want to see it change. I suppose what disturbs me most is that the top 1 % controlling 40 % of the wealth will never even begin to use it all and those at the bottom may not even have the basic needs met. The top could easily change the bottom without losing anything of substance for their own lives.
The argument that they worked hard for their money doesn’t explain why so many hard working Americans struggle. It is hard to be efficient when you are hungry or worried that your children will not be ok.  I ache for the people who are just barely making it.
Christmas season is a time of giving, it should also be a time of recognizing the truth and maybe finding a way to care a little more.


Snowart2aI wrote this in 2009 for an Advent Devotional but it spoke to me today and I’d like to share it with you.

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” – Jude 17-18

Godlessness. At the time when the Letter of Jude was written the people were being led astray by those “who will follow their own ungodly desires.” In our own times there are so many things that appear to be ungodly. Greed is rampant, there is a loss of concern about others and a self-centered disregard for the effects of one’s actions on others. We are bombarded with images of violence, exploitation of persons’ bodies, and denigrating language — all in the name of entertainment.

In the season of Advent we are particularly vulnerable to being drawn into greed with the commercialization of a most holy time in the church year. How can we remain true to God in a climate such as this?

Perhaps the words of Jude’s letter ring true today as we face a world at odds with our understanding of the kingdom of God. When we regard one another as children of God and care for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, we catch a glimpse of the world as God intended it to be.

The Jude text offers hope. “Build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love…”

There are always choices to be made. We can allow ourselves to be swept up in the craziness of the season or we can remember that we have been given an amazing gift. If we can remain true to our belief that Jesus is the Christ and he is the lens through which we can focus our lives on God then we can combat the negatives in our lives that try to keep us from staying on the right path.

It is in this season of Advent as we await the coming of Jesus once again, that we, too, can be born anew in him and build ourselves in holy faith.

Godless world? No, we are in a God-filled world. We just have to be open to the many wonders of our God and turn to God in spite of all those things that pull us in other directions.

There is hope in Christ. We are called to that hope. We pray that we will find it as we await the coming of Christ anew. Amen.