Poverty, by Jesus

Poverty, by Jesus

Sunday, September 8, 2024
| James 2:1-10, 11-13, 14-17

Jesus challenges his followers to see the poor as people worthy of justice, compassion and support.

Matthew Desmond grew up in Winslow, Arizona. You know the place. The Eagles sing about it in “Take It Easy,” a song that includes the words, “Well, I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona … such a fine sight to see.”

For Desmond, however, it was hard to “take it easy” in Winslow. His father was a pastor, his mother worked various jobs, and the family lived on a tight budget. When his father lost his job, the family home was taken away. Later, Desmond lived in a trailer park in Milwaukee while he studied for his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. There, he had a deeply personal experience of poverty.

In this trailer park, he saw families renting mobile homes without hot water or heat. One unit had sewage backing up into its bathtub. And yet, the landlord was earning more than $400,000 a year.

So, why is there poverty in America? In part, because of exploitation. When the rich take advantage of the poor, the rich get...

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