Excerpt from Jeremiah 49: 7-11
“Leave your orphans; I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in me.”
Reflection by Donna Schaper
Social insecurity is the issue of the day, when Medicare and Medicaid are not. For all I know both sides in the debates are wrong. Maybe even the middle is wrong. Some compromises end up compromising everyone and everything.
I wonder how we will obey the commandment to keep orphans alive and let widows trust in God without the state’s money. Is it that hard to cut the deficit and raise taxes, both, not either? Isn’t a deficit a moral matter before it is a financial matter? On behalf of the widows and the orphans, and the potential widow and orphan inside you and me, might we not be wise?
Spiritual commandments without a political economy have a certain vacuousness. We have to be very careful that the commandments to love not end up empty-sounding, like the train robot saying, “Stand clear of the closing doors.” We have to be even more careful that we don’t experience foreclosure of a spiritual or moral nature or live under water in those terms. Some words are more important, and less vacuous, than others. God’s promise to keep orphans safe and widows trusting is real, not pomp. It is essential.
If that means spending the government’s money, which is to say our money, wisely and appropriately, then GREAT.
When we casually disobey your commandments and mishear your promises, O God, open our hearts and wallets that we might change. Amen.
About the Author
Donna Schaper is the Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her most recent book is Sacred Chow: a Guide to Holy Eating.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9
“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”
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