Wednesday, 8 August 2012
God's ways are profoundly counter-cultural.
Our culture demands that each person or family must be independent and self-sufficient. Each must have a house or a flat with hot and cold water, a car, a television, a washing machine, a stereo, a microwave, a DVD recorder, and furniture.....
This is very good for the economy but not very good for society. It is also very expensive. It requires us to earn more and more money causing us to become increasingly dependent on corporate elites.
Our culture also demands that people support themselves and are not a burden to others. This is mitigated by the welfare system which is so unpopular with the corporates. But the welfare system is impersonal - there is no contact between the taxpayer and the recipient - this obviates any feelings of obligation or guilt.
We do not expect to help anyone outside of our family circle.
The disabled, the destitute, the marginalized are expected to look after themselves. Even within families unmarried singles are marginalized. For them it is cold and lonely.
This is caused by fear of obligation. We fear that the outsider will become a burden on us so we avoid them.
God's ways are different :
God wishes us to befriend each other, including the poor, the sick, the widow, the fatherless - i.e. the destitute, the disabled, those who are marginalized and excluded. God wishes us to have them in our homes and feed them.
It is God's wish that we open our hearts and love one another. Especially those beyond the church's door who may be lonely and isolated.
God's way is warm and inclusive.
We should be brothers and sisters characterized by love for each other.
Visiting, excursions, meals should not be done out of obligation or fear but out of genuine friendship and love.
Photo Credit: Vilseskogen Flickr via Compfight cc