In the midst of all the debate over rich and poor in our economic and political arenas,Paul poses another way of thinking about riches. This does not diminish the importance for Christians to take a clear stand for economic justice and political rights,but it does put that whole striving into the broader context of the richness that comes from our relationship with God in Jesus Christ.
7 You are so rich in all you have:in faith,speech,and knowledge,in your eagerness to help and in your love for us. And so we want you to be generous also in this service of love.
8 I am not laying down any rules. But by showing how eager others are to help,I am trying to find out how real your own love is. 9 You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ;rich as he was,he made himself poor for your sake,in order to make you rich by means of his poverty.
10 My opinion is that it is better for you to finish now what you began last year. You were the first,not only to act,but also to be willing to act. 11 On with it,then,and finish the job! Be as eager to finish it as you were to plan it,and do it with what you now have. 12 If you are eager to give,God will accept your gift on the basis of what you have to give,not on what you don’t have.
13-14 I am not trying to relieve others by putting a burden on you;but since you have plenty at this time,it is only fair that you should help those who are in need. Then,when you are in need and they have plenty,they will help you. In this way both are treated equally. 15 As the scripture says,“The one who gathered much did not have too much,and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Come and participate in our exploration of this theme. If you can’t be with us on Sunday morning in worship,please leave a comment.