Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mutual Weakness

For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low, he layeth it low to the ground, he bringeth it even to the dust.
The foot shall tread it down, -- the feet of the afflicted, the steps of the poor.  --Isaiah 26:4-5 (Darby)
Liberation Theology is a Christian perspective that God sides with the poor and oppressed.  It is rooted in the Old Testament prophets who confronted the wealthy for their insensitivity to the needy in their midst.  The above passage is a specific example.

Some use Liberation Theology as a justification for class warfare, justifying the rising up of the poor to oppress the rich.  But, this is a misunderstanding of faith.  God does not turn a blind eye to the rich, for Christ was sent as a Savior for all.  What it does speak to however, is how much easier it is for wealthy people to put themselves in control of life.  Most of us living in the First World could find ourselves in the place of building fortresses (IRA's, insurance plans, gated communities, alarmed entry homes...) and raising the boundaries around us such that we don't have to see the homeless or less fortunate.

Yet the needs of the poor are with us always, something Jesus himself said, and everything that separates us from God impoverishes us.  The perception that we can control our own destinies and manage our own problems without a relationship with our loving God brings us emptiness.  But, when we take up the journey with Christ the paths get smoother and easier, and we see ourselves as one very large inclusive family under God's overarching roof.  So, whether we live in a million dollar mansion or a cardboard box we share a profound lack of control over our lives.  But, we also belong to the Lord and that transforms our held-in-common helplessness into the Love that never ends.

Help us O Lord, to know our weakness without You, and to trust You beyond all else.  With Christ's perpetual love.  Amen. 

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