Peace Moment 10-10-21 – Mark 10:17-31
The story recorded in Mark 10:17-31 tells of the rich man who came to Jesus seeking eternal life. We are learning that “eternal life” is our present, future and eternity spent in relationship with God. In other words, a life of shalom, perfect peace. The rich man had apparently sought shalom through obedience of the law of Moses and, one can assume, by trying to buy it using his wealth. Finally he runs to Jesus asking. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” The answer is to give all that he has – present and future wealth as well as the whole of his life – to following Jesus.
We face a similar dilemma. Following Jesus, seeking shalom, involves challenging choices. Jesus asks that what we have – knowledge, talents, skills as well as tangible wealth – be used in the cause of Jesus’ peace. Will one choose to follow or go away grieving because the cost is too great? Our consumption-oriented culture with its advertising, planned obsolescence, focus on material success, and winning at any cost presents the question nearly every day. And every day the responsible choice is to seek peace and follow Jesus in eternal life, in other words, shalom.
Another way to understand this story in terms of economic justice: “the idea that the economy will be more successful if it is fairer. The goal is to create opportunities for all to thrive and that prosperity and justice go hand-in-hand rather than in opposition to one another.” Jesus is specific about what the rich man is do. He said, “ go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor.” The rich man’s wealth can be used to move forward the issues of economic justice such as poverty wages, the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer, inadequate public schools, lack of health care and more. Jesus invites the rich man and each of us to lead by modeling the pursuit of economic justice using the resources he has to alleviate some of these social issues.
For our peace meditation we will consider this question:
What thing can I do tomorrow or this week as a follower of Jesus, the Peaceful One?
The world is not the way you created it to be. Instead of a paradise of fairness and justice there is unfairness in the distribution of resources among individuals and peoples. Differences of opportunity, living conditions and even food depend on factors that are beyond the reach of many. Jesus calls us to imagine peace, a condition of fairness and justice for each one in all of life and to work to create the peace we imagine. We ask that the Holy Spirit stir our imagining of shalom. We ask that the Holy Spirit empower us work toward that lofty dream . As disciples of your Son we commit ourselves to the mission of Jesus, the Peaceful One. Amen.