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God’s Economics

This Sunday’s Hebrew lesson is from Isaiah 55:

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant.

This passage ought to be terrifying for those who worship at the altar of Capitalism. God’s economics have no value for profit. This sacred offer of abundant supply, even for those who have no money, tells us how God believes things should work. No one should go hungry nor thirsty. The idea of getting something for free, however, is sacrilegious in a culture in which we make heroes of those who make the most money.

Recently, Bill and I were looking for a program on TV and came across not one but two stations broadcasting 30-minute infomercials for a cancer treatment center. Both of us remarked on how much profit there must be in treating a disease that causes so much suffering. Why? When did we sell our souls to the highest bidder? When did we decide that it is moral to profit off parents’ terror about a child with a brain tumor? When did we decide that we are okay with corporations making a fortune off an epidemic of suffering? How is that okay?

Just how much hunger and homelessness is the result of greed? How much pollution and how many of the toxic chemicals sprayed on our food are driven by the need to pay CEOs millions and millions of dollars in compensation? Do we really need to make so much profit by treating cancer that it is worth purchasing 30 minutes of advertising? These questions could go on and on, but the biggest question is, “Why we aren’t asking these questions?”

Why have people of faith totally surrendered God’s value system for the religion of Capitalism? Why has the doctrine of high profit and low taxes totally replaced values of great mercy and deep compassion? Why have we sold our souls without so much as a whimper of resistance? Why have we not even noticed that God invites is to a better way?

You may think Capitalism is the best economic system; just don’t pretend that it is Christian. I can’t imagine Jesus profiting by healing someone’s child. Don’t dare pretend that is moral.

Blessings,

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Rev. Michael Piazza

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