Camels & Needles
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” ~ Mark 10:23-27
There was an understanding in Jesus' day that wealth was a sign of blessedness. If you were rich, God loved you.
So you can imagine how shocked his disciples were to hear that it was seemingly impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.
In a lot of ways, times haven't changed much since Jesus' day. There is still often belief that wealth and blessedness are intertwined.
But maybe the disciples - and we. - shouldn't have been so surprised.
Amos certainly clued us in to God's love for the poor.
So what about those of us with wealth? What does this mean for us about our place in the Kingdom of God? Is it truly impossible to be part of that kingdom? (maybe we don't think of ourselves as exactly wealthy, but when placed side by side with the poorest on this planet, most of us in fact are "rich" by comparison).
If we remember that the Kingdom of God is already happening - that God's Kingdom isn't just a heavenly realm we go to when we die - then we might know how well or not we are entering into it.
How aligned are we with those who are truly poor? How do we care for them? How do we serve them?
How do we let their lives fill ours with hope? How do we share our lives with them?
How do we let them show us the keys to the Kingdom?
Generous God, open my eyes to those who are in need that I might be blessed by them. Amen