Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133; 1 John 1:1-2:2; John 20:19-31
Our Gospel today is well known and since I really am from Missouri, I have used the "doubting Thomas" line many times, "I’m from Missouri" meaning "show me." But that short text from the book of Acts describes the early Christian community within a few decades of the resurrection. It describes a community so overflowing with God’s grace and abundance that until evil re-established itself at least for a little while they had re-created paradise.
I want to share with you some thoughts about a truly spiritual economy. First stop on our journey back to the time between the years 40 and 50 AD is the word economy itself. Actually three important words are all connected by the same root word. From the Greek "eco" economy is about the financial transactions of the house. Ecology (and we celebrated Earth Day yesterday) concerns the knowledge of the natural environment of "God’s house" if you will. And ecumenical pertains to the different faith communities (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist) all within God’s house.
So talking about a spiritual economy is not an oxy moron but in fact takes us to the very root of economic decisions – our concept of possessions, rights and what love has to do with it.
At my last parish I had the privilege of getting to know a remarkable man. He lived modestly in a home on a 30 acre lot his grandfather had purchased. His grandfather had taught him to be generous. One early lesson his grandfather taught was to take care of your neighbors. There was a small struggling African-American Baptist church across the road from his property and both grandfather and grandson had given generously to that church many times to save them from bankruptcy. Grandfather and grandson were both white and attended the Episcopal Church. They gave to their neighborhood church simply because they were neighbors and it was the right thi ...
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