I was thinking about how Jesus primarily came for the poor and this set off two trains of thought:
- Where I live in Solihull people are really rich. Even those who consider themselves poor are rich compared to the average person in the world. And I thought about the false gods that many of us in Solihull worship – money, jobs, success, social standing, a luxury lifestyle, entertainment, consumerism. And my concluding thought was that in the Church in Solihull we subconsciously promote all of these idols. I think it would be worthwhile Christians in affluent communities sitting down and discussing how they are counter cultural and what traps they have fallen into that mean they pander to cultural norms rather than being a radical and world changing community.
- My second thought process was about my own job. I work for the YMCA finding accommodation for young people who are at risk of becoming homeless. “A worthy cause!” I hear you cry and, yes, I agree it is a very worthy thing I do. However, it can be all too easy for me to hide behind my job and claim that I fulfill Jesus’ mandate for the poor. I can all too often think I am serving the ‘poor’ when in fact I am just enjoying job satisfaction and serving my own false gods of having enough money to be comfortable and own my own property. Granted, our motives will never be pure and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about that. However, we should continually be assessing our standing in terms of God’s call on us to serve him and make disciples no matter what status our job title or habitual lifestyle gives us.