I'm copying below what is part of the first session of a workshop I lead called $$$$ and Spirituality
. It might be an intriguing online dialogue. I would be happy to put Session II up, if the questions in this session create any dialogue. This is a topic that rarely is talked about in churches, but very important to our spiritual journeys. Kara
“God, bless me with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that You will live deep in my heart. God, bless me with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people and the earth so that I will work for justice, equality, and peace. God, bless me with tears to shed for those who suffer so that I will reach out my hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy. God, bless me with the foolishness to think that I can make a difference in the world, so that I will do the things which others say cannot be done. Amen”(Richard Rohr, OFM)
Scripture readings for Session 1:
Isaiah 58: 6-10
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe that one, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and God will say: Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
The community of believers was of one mind and one heart. None of them claimed anything as their own; rather, everything was held in common. The apostles continue to testify with great power to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and they were all given great respect.
Nor was anyone needy among them, for those who owned property or houses would see them and give the money to the apostles. It was then distributed to any members who might be in need.
1 Timothy 6: 6-10
There is, of course, great benefit in religion, but only for those who are content with what they have. We brought nothing into the world, nor have we the power to take anything out. If we have food and clothing, we have all that we need.
Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and a trap. They are letting themselves be captured by foolish and harmful desires which draw us down to ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all evil. Some people, in their passion for it, have strayed from faith and have come to grief amid great pain.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1) The subject of $$$ is touched upon more than almost any other subject in Scripture. After hearing just these few scripture verses, how would you define “God’s Intent” concerning our money, wealth, possessions?
2) How do these verses relate to your own attitudes about money and wealth?
3) How does having or not having money make you feel about yourself or others?
From the cowardice that dares not face new truths,
From the laziness that is contented with half truths,
From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truth,
Good Lord deliver me
- Bread for Tomorrow, Kenya