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“Seek first God’s kingdom…”

This Sunday’s gospel reading from Matthew 6 is centred on Jesus’ instructions that we are not to worry about money, as the financial department is God’s to look after. Right, got that. So how does this work out in reality? Some Christians seem to be doing better than others, some are much more worried than others, and there is no obvious correlation between the trust/worry spectrum and the wealth/poverty distribution.
What are we missing here? I argue that the key to understanding this passage in Matthew lies in its plural grammar: it is addressed to us not primarily as individuals but collectively as the Church, the ongoing body of disciples Jesus was preparing for a world-wide mission. God will resource the Church if and only if it is getting on with its proper mission in the world. A revolutionary thought! Beyond that, our texts bring us back to another prophetic message, that God’s people are called to share the resources provided for our common journey.
You can hear my version of Christian socialism in the video I prepared three years ago a few hours before the Christchurch earthquake of Feb.22.2011. Talk about God knocking the props out from under our material comfort, refocusing on the essentials of mission. Let me know what you think!
Howard Pilgrim

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