Daily reading: 17 November
Material wealth can fade.
The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
- James 1, 9-11 New Revised Standard Version. Click here to read the King James Version
We are all very aware these days that riches can fade away. The arrogance of the international banking system has been brought very low.
Many of the rich are very unhappy about this, and they certainly don’t want a world in which their great riches are as vulnerable as the flowers in a field on a sweltering hot day.
They are anxious to get back to business as usual, the business of creating the impression that significant money gives you cast-iron security, as solid as God himself.
James invites us to a different point of view: that there is something divine about a process in which the very rich are humbled and the poorest of the world get resources they thought they would never enjoy.
Lord, I have so much, and I rejoice every time I get a bit more. Help me to care enough about the poor that my heart is set on rejoicing whenever their fortunes take a turn for the better, even though it will often mean my interests are not served quite so well. And keep me grateful for the relative wealth that will nonetheless continue to be mine.
Today's contributor is Just Living, a fresh expression of church in Devon devoted to the Christian pursuit of justice for the poor and closely linked to Christian Aid.
Published on 17 November 2017