Give out an image:
Give out a thought:
In the deep and dark corner of Deuteronomy we find the first biblical utterance of a famous phrase, 'There will always be poor in the land.' (Deut 15:11) Contrary to how we often misinterpret Jesus by saying that we should accept there will always be poverty, the original context outlines how Israel is to deal with the poor. They are to be 'open-handed' and not 'tight-fisted', 'generous' not 'grudging', and 'releasing' not possessive. These attitudes are to be fostered most acutely within the seventh year, or sabbath year. In that year the debts incurred over the past six years are to be cancelled and slaves are to be released. The fields are not to be harvested in order for the poor to be able to go and gather without cost the fruits of God's land. This was one of God's first instructions to help create, as Ron Sider puts it, 'transformed economic relationships among his people.'
As the credit crunch and recession really kicks in the tendency is to hoard and become possessive. Our generosity in the years of plenty is challenged and our response may to be tight-fisted rather than open-handed. Yet our 'imagination factory' that is the bible seems to be offering new ways of dealing with these age-old challenges. Father, help us to re-imagine your economic pattern.
Give out an action:
Buy a 'good gift' from Oxfam.