Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lenten Devotion -- Satuday, March 21

Day 31

I have a hard time with the psalmists when they complain to God about "evil people", "the oppressors", generally people the psalmists have issues with. I have a hard time with this thinking because, fortunately, I don't have anybody like that in my immediate life. So I have a hard time relating. But, today's psalm reminded me that there is a set of people that I do have a hard time with: One Percenters. Before you accuse me of being a communist and anti free-market capitalist (which accusations I could live with by the way) please understand I have no issue with wealth per se. I realize that in many parts of the world, I am a one percenter. Having said that: my issue with the obscenely wealthy is that, in my perception, they are doing little or nothing to help with the world they live in. Yes this is a generalization, yes there are exceptions, but in general... [Spare me the arguments about people becoming self-sufficient, people get what they deserve, people have to earn their own way... I'd buy into the arguments if there was a level playing field. but there isn't.]

I'm a simple man, so I know there's many complications to this thinking, but I firmly believe if EVERYBODY shared 10% of their wealth (tithing) then we could solve a whole lot of the world's problems. Think what we could do with 10% of every billionaire's money... (Before you get all up in arms: remember that they got that money from us in the first place.)

Of course, it doesn't help that it feels like the psalmist is right, that the one percenters never have to deal with any hardships. We know from reading the news, that's not entirely true but it certainly feels like it sometimes.
They have no struggles;
    their bodies are healthy and strong.
Then the psalmist goes off on them from there. Which I really can't subscribe too either... But then:
When I tried to understand all this,
    it troubled me deeply
till I entered the sanctuary of God;
    then I understood their final destiny.
I'm not going to pretend I understand "their final destiny" or even particularly care about it, but I do like the the image of entering the "Sanctuary of God."
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.
I will leave it in God's hands and pray for more faith and trust. And pray that I can somehow be part of the eventual solution.
Questions for reflection:
  1. What kinds of situations make you the angriest? Bring that anger honestly to God in prayer.
    1. Any situation where there is injustice.
    2. Any situation where there is discrimination.
    3. Any time I hear about violence, specially violence brought on because of injustice and discrimination.
    4. Dear Lord: Show me how to channel that anger into something useful and constructive.
  2. Can you remember instances when God gave you answers to your concerns and you were able to affirm God’s goodness in the face of blatant evil in the world?
    1. I can't. But I pray that I will.

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