Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Everyone The Same

"For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe." Duet. 10:17

In Dallas, where I live, the difference between rich and poor is extremely obvious. Just Saturday I parked my car next to a Bentley and went into REI. When I left, a Ferrari had taken its place. Almost a million dollars worth of automobile had been next to my car in less than an hour. 

Watching the Presidential debates, it is obvious that both sides are willing to show partiality to rich donors, or at least to those in the middle class. The moderator never steps in and asks, "What about the poor?" 

This isn't another blog about reaching out to the poor, although I am in support of that, this is me asking whether we are still guilty as Christians of treating the rich as superior. On the other hand, are there times we condemn the rich and focus solely on the poor, making us guilty of favoritism on the other end?

In the days of the Hebrew temple, there was a festival each year called Sukkos. During that festival, a sacrifice of water was poured on the altar. There was dancing and celebration and giant lights lit throughout Jerusalem after this sacrifice. The Talmud says that "whoever did not see this party did not see a party in all his days."

We need more crazy parties like this in our churches. Could you imagine your local pastor leading a party out into the streets of your town? 

Pouring out water symbolized something deep in the heart of the Jewish people. Sukkos happens after Yom Kippur, and takes place during the harvest season. Farmers who harvest a lot of crops each year might have a tendency to look down on others, creating divisions in their mind and falling in to the temptation of thinking monetary blessings are indicative of God's favoritism. What's worse, sometimes when we have all we need, we forget it came from God in the first place. Paul wrote of Jesus that, "in Him all things hold together." All things. Your car, your house, the tree in front of your house, the molecules in your eye, and the rings of Saturn are all held together by the Star-breather Jesus.  When we forget this, problems begin and our minds become clouded with delusions of superiority or inferiority. 

Usually fine wine was poured out on the alter. Wine that was expensive and precious. When the priests poured out water on the altar, they were symbolizing that whether fine or plain, whether rich or poor, God accepts us if our hearts are pure. David, the Prophet-Poet-King of Israel, wrote in Psalm 51 that "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise." 

Let's celebrate that God loves us so much, that it does not matter if we drive a Ferrari. Let's celebrate our status as equals before the Creator of everything from gravity to groundhogs. More importantly, let's celebrate. 

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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.