“As far as we know, the people of Israel never practiced the year of Jubilee. Still, Jesus alluded to it in his inaugural address. What does this say about God’s heart? At least this: he values a level playing field. In his society the Have-a-Lots and the Have-a-Littles are never to be so far apart that they can’t see each other.”- Max Lucado
Max Lucado concludes Chapter 10 of Outlive Your Life as he states that Jesus’ radical commitment to the poor reminded His listeners of the year of Jubilee. In addition, the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Max notes, describes the year of Jubilee as “a twice-in-a-century celebration intended to press the restart button on the machinery of justice.”
Also, scholar Walter Brueggemann refers to the year of Jubilee as a regularly scheduled revolution. It’s as if, Max quips, God gives everyone a clean slate when He shakes the social Etch A Sketch. And that, Pastor Lucado points out, begs this question: “Why do a few of us have so much and most of us have so little?”
As a result, Max presents three steps for the church to take to help the poor.
1. Let the church act on behalf of the poor. The apostles wanted every church member to know that they took poverty seriously. For, Max asserts, “the ultimate solution to poverty is found in the compassion of God’s people. Scripture endorses . . . Spirit-led volunteerism among God’s people.”
2. Let the brightest among us direct us. At the first church meeting, the apostles unleashed their best people to handle their biggest problems. Such a challenge demands this action. Because simple solutions simply don’t exist. And, while most of us may not know what to do, someone does!
3. Get ticked off. Righteous anger can do the world much good. In addition, Pastor Lucado contents, lack of charity doesn’t sustain poverty. Rather, lack of justice does. So, Max exhorts, leave your comfort zone for Christ’s sake.
Today’s question: How do you respond to the poverty many people live through every day? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Break down barricades separating God’s children”