Sunday, 11 March 2012

Lenten Disciplines - Almsgiving (4)

Finally we need to give alms because doing so, cheerfully ( as God does ), dethrones Money from it's exalted position in our hearts and lives. Just giving it away - Giving the poor their rights, as we are required by Scripture to do - puts an axe to the idolatrous tree of money. Refusing to try and control it, knowing that any attempt to control an idol is naive at best, simply getting rid of it. Just throwing it away.

And if we think for a moment that money hasn't got a hook on our hearts, then meditate for a while on literally throwing money away - listen to the voice saying 'Don't do that!! Put it to good use!! Spend it on the poor!!' and remember who it was that first counseled against such Wastefulness saying that the money should have been spent on the poor . . .

More than ever in the history of the world, with world wide instant communication, never before has economic chaos had so many in fear. We are terrified of what will happen if The Economy collapses - because we believe that it is The Economy that preserves us and keeps us and if we play our part in the Economy, It will look after us. Never before has there been such anger at politicians and bankers - never before - as Pensions look increasingly vulnerable and national economies tremble on the brink. Of course there are those who counsel to take cover - by investing in precious metals :) In other words take cover from Money, by  . . .   :)
The Economy is such a huge idol, we cannot see anything else, and talk of trusting in God INSTEAD OF Money (as opposed to as well as - which is of course an oxymoron) is seen as hopelessly naive.

This is the hook it has on us.

Jesus had no money in the wilderness, indeed we are given to understand he wouldn't even touch the stuff. He had little time for some of the purity laws, and understood that money contaminated you in a  way that hanging around with prostitutes and tax collectors never could. The Pharisees however wouldn't be seen dead in that sort of company, but were well versed in handling money.

I return to a post I made earlier in this respect - the TV evangelist - the point is that I was flabbergasted at his saying he had no idea Jesus said so much about money, and yet given the power of it, I shouldn't have been. It grips us. the one thing it cries out for us not to do, is cut its power off at the root by taking no concern for the morrow and getting rid of it.

Lenten Almsgiving can be our teacher if we will

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