Friday, January 10, 2014

Poor Rich Man

by Jim Rapp
(Luke 12:13-21; Mark 10:17-22)

The poor will always be with us.
Not because God wills it to be so –
There are, after all, no poor in heaven.
Our Father, who art in heaven . . .
Your will be done . . . on earth,
as it is done in heaven.

God, seeing our world’s wretchedness,
sent His Son into the muck;
born in a stable, raised by the poor,
eating and drinking with outcasts
and sinners, wandering homeless,
dying deserted . . . on a cross.

His Spirit still inhabits the haunts
of the outcast, the downtrodden poor.
You imagine Him standing in awe
before the gleaming shrines we’ve raised,
in ignorance, to bear His name.
But look, he eats and drinks with sinners.

How different the world would look
if no church had ever cast its shadow
over the hovels of the hungry;
if instead, believer’s worshiped,
like their Lord, in homes with the poor,
the hungry, the naked, and the sick.
 
How different our world would be
if, in imitation of their Lord,
believers refused to be rich
until none they knew were poor –
until the will of God was done
on earth as it is in heaven.

The parable does not condemn
the rich farmer for efficiency,
does not imply that he should
cease to reap abundant harvests;
it only damns the barns he built
to hoard the precious grain.

A poor man said to a rich man,
“. . . sell all your possessions
and give the money to the poor;
then follow me, and you will be rich.”
Unwilling to be wealthy,
the poor man sadly walked away.

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