Last week I used a phrase in the sermon that has intrigued me for years – “The conspiracy of the poor”. It comes from Christian author Simon Tugwell, in his book on prayer.
Many people today are consumed with conspiracy theories, but this is different – it’s not about a secret underground plot to take over the system, but a complete reversal of the world’s values. Whereas the world believes that strength, power, and wealth give you influence, Tugwell sees through Jesus a reinterpretation of what it means to be truly powerful. In Jesus’ paradigm those who mourn, the meek, and the children are the heroes! The foolish son who has lost everything is feasted, and the woman who wears out a $5 broom looking for a 10 cent coin is the praised!
This is not new – while fighting the battle of Jericho, the musicians are sent AHEAD of the armed soldiers to go into battle! It seems that every military trick, every well-established financial axiom is turned on its head by Jesus. “Sell what you have, and give to the poor”, “Whoever seeks to save their life will lose it” – these commands of Jesus go against what we were taught in business school.
The conspiracy of the poor is a reminder that only those who are completely empty can be filled. The more I fill my life with money, electronics, self-importance, even other people – the less room I leave for God to enter and dwell within me.
Jesus chose to become poor. “The Son of Man has no place to lay His head” – “You must become as little children” – “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest”. If we want to find Him, He is more likely to be found out among the poor, the suffering, those whom the world would rather ignore. When we try to seek the favor of men, we will also die by that same favor. But when we seek to become humble and to serve rather than be served, we find Jesus.
How does this challenge your life today?
– Rev. Bill