Monday, June 01, 2009

"so that you through His povery might become Rich"

General Motors is now officially in bankruptcy, and with all the news channel viewing I just did one channel really brought this story to the level that will most likely be overlooked in the media for awhile. The loss of blue collar, assembly plant jobs. Much of the talk had been about the whole thing in general. The large implication that the company is basically changing and starting new, and what this means on a corporate, long term level. Which is key mind you, because without a company to hire people, people can't work.

But it is the affect of the bankruptcy with all the job losses that are going to happen, here in Detroit especially, that continue pushing people down and out. The ripple affect will be a wave crashing onto shore, not a mere pebble dropping in an ocean. People will leave and more resources will be stripped away from this region. For those who remain, what hope can be found? Our incomes are so important, our standard of living is indispensable!

Hope in Christ. That is what can be leaned upon. Detroit church (which is defined as city and suburb), if Paul were to write a letter to you, what would he say? I don't think it would say that we must protect our standard of living and to put our trust in a private company or a worldly government. The Kingdom of Heaven needs to be the safe harbor in this time. Actually it always should have been, there never should have been stock placed in how fat we have been and how well off we were in Detroit. The riches that should be boasted about are Christ crucified and all that comes from the risen life He has for us. The edicts to follow should be of His Kingdom and we should rejoice in the company benefits that come from being part of this different kind of union. A union that looks out for its members like no other union on earth does, or can.

My roommate played a John Piper message about the recession a while back, and this was the amazing passage used. If Paul were to write to the Detroit church, I hope that the following could be said about us, or to us:
1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

II Corinthians 8:1-9, NIV

The reader here could replace Macedonians with Detroiters for greater emphasis. Or this is truly a plea for our present condition as verse 8 is directed to the Corinthian church, which could be the Detroit church, that our love is about to be tested for its sincerity. And consider this, the details are not given as to how this was accomplished, but we certainly know the motive for doing this. But I am glad that we are not presented a detailed description of how the Macedonians did this from a structural standpoint because that would remove the freedom and creativity to accomplish such a monumental task of love. Their motivation is what we know, Christ!

So Detroit church, what can we do? How can we role up our blue collar sleeves and put to work our lives for the Love of Christ?

1 comment:

nievewhite said...

Wow, thanks for posting this. I´ll definitely be looking for ways to help--if Jesus was willing to leave the riches of heaven for me, I have no excuse not to set aside temporary luxuries to demonstrate the glorious riches of God to others.