Jesus didn’t own a home. He stayed at his friend’s wife’s mom’s house.
He did not have a grave plot to be buried in. He had to borrow one!
He walked everywhere he went, except one time on that donkey.
Jesus was poor?
Was he impoverished? Underprivileged? Low-income? Itinerant?
Do you know anyone who has to walk everywhere? Does your town have the unofficial walking path of worn-down grass because no one wants to put in sidewalks?
Until we find out that the precariously under-resourced need spiritual formation and a church home just as much as the wealthy, we will only have part of the church, part of God’s vision.
Are poor people comfortable in your place of worship? Do y’all know one another on a personal basis? Do you chat after worship with each other?
Class is something we like to ignore in our society, but these cultural divisions separate us possibily more than anything else.
In my ministry I have seen that when everyone sits down around the Lord’s table, those separations begin to fall away. Sharing a meal creates relationships. Sharing in the Eucharist reminds us that we are all guests at the table of the Lord, and there are no “cheap seats.”
I am thinking of a time when the Church, newly birthed by the Spirit, made sure that everyone had enough, and did not judge anyone for being poor. They shared and took care of one another (Acts 2:44-45).
May God open our eyes to see and ears to hear the Good News—our wealth or poverty does not define us. Instead, God calls us to share in what we have, so that we might embody Love to our world.
Rev. Anna Fleming-Jones, Pastor at Holly Bush UMC and Lodebar UMC and Co-Pastor at Pearl First UMC