I never know if I should capitalize the word 'System.'
The System runs people over. It probably creates poverty, but if it doesn't create poverty, it certainly reinforces it. There are forces in the world that are resisting the American dream and they're not limited to recessions, Hollywood, or those sneaky, sneaky Communists.
I expect us to see some people this week who have been broken by The System. Maybe their minds aren't working quite right. Maybe they are all alone. Maybe they see no other options. Maybe they have no hope.
This afternoon, we're going to play a game of "Manipulated Monopoly" and reflect a bit on the power of The System. As (relatively) wealthy folks, I think we tend to over-estimate our agency in the arena of wealth creation and under-estimate the impact of The System. This game of monopoly will involve Becca and me rigging the game (or trying to) and arranging the rules to create some folks that The System works for and others whom The System works against. I'm interested to see how this goes.
If The System breaks people, what does God do? His word is crystal clear in saying that he cares for people. The passage I'll be speaking on this evening comes from Luke 12:22-34. In it, Jesus tells the crowd "Don't worry," and I find myself rolling my eyes and waiting to hear him say "Be happy, mon."
Why do I do that? Well, it seems easy for Jesus to say "Don't worry." He has access to incredible resources. He's God, you know. And him saying "Don't worry" sounds like the sort of thing someone would say if they've never been poor a day in their life. So, I roll my eyes.
But Jesus was poor. I think the Bible teaches that. So, maybe he has a different perspective on this whole thing. Maybe he realizes that our worry masks God's care. What would it look like to do worry-free service? What would it look like to enter into service confident that God is currently at work to care for the needs of the people we're serving? What if it wasn't all up to us, really?
The System can't break people beyond God's care. God won't ignore The System. He knows what we need and he cares. That's starting to sound more and more like "good news."