Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, guided our nation through the great depression. He frequently reminded us of our responsibility to care for the poor as when he said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
It is important to remember his example during this tumultuous time in our history when our current President is trying to dismantle the programs that have been painstakingly put in place to protect that constituency. No matter what version of the Bible you prefer, quoting the first half of Matthew 26:11 out of context – “For the poor you have with you always” – is no excuse for eliminating programs that feed the hungry and nourish their souls.
If you want to know what the Bible really says about caring for the poor, check out The Poverty and Justice Bible. Poverty is mentioned in the Scriptures 2,100 times and the most relevant are highlighted in orange, which dramatically illustrates the importance God places on our responsibility to provide for those who have too little and those who are mistreated.
But it doesn’t stop there. Smack dab in the middle of this edition is a 32-page addition called “The Core” which is a great guide to the Bible’s emphasis on poverty and justice. It includes quotations from Bono, the lead singer of U2, and Rev. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life. As it says in the “Putting It All Together” section of this edition, “A concern for the poor and an emphasis on just and fair behavior flows through the Bible like a river.” In an interview, Warren asked, “How can we have missed it?”
This awesome edition of the Bible includes a 3D section, but you don’t need special glasses to read these pages. Here 3D refers to Discover, Dream and Do. Under 47 categories like People, Power, Bribes, Trees, Wages and Refugees, in the space of a half page for each category, the Discover section provides a brief background on each topic and its associated problems, the Dream section helps you visualize solutions, and the Do section lists steps to get you started down the road of a poverty and justice advocate.
David Brooks, the New York Times columnist asked, “Are you living your life for your resume or your eulogy?” Those who spend their life fighting poverty and justice issues don’t have to ask that question. Do you?
Blessings for the Journey,