Bible as Economics text book

Sexist marathon rules forbid women to compete —
until this feminist put her foot down!

Karen Switzer—the first woman to enter the 1967 Boston Marathon—being assaulted by a man who tried unsuccessfully to tear the number off her shirt and remove her from the race.

Women were only permitted in 1972 to enter this marathon. This year—the 50th year since her first entry—Karen (aged 70) ran the Marathon once again!

Image: Paul Connell/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

Grace and peace to you and through you

The bible is first and foremost an economics text book. Economics, in the true sense of the word, means management of the household. Thus the bible documents a people’s growing understanding of what God desires for God’s house (the world) and how it is to be managed. In short: God longs for God’s house to be managed with justice and mercy for everyone living under God’s sky. In our own homes we know what happens when fairness is not present! It’s war! Fairness alone is what will establish peace. This is equally true in our country which is ablaze in so many corners for the long lack of fairness. And what is more, there will not be enough rubber bullets and tear gas canisters to prevent the flames from burning ever higher. Justice is the only thing that will cool the heat.

I think we know this but we stand paralysed in the face of this truth. We know the answer is justice, but it’s as if this answer is buried in a tomb that is impossible to open and we don’t believe it will ever be unlocked, partly because somewhere deep down some of us know that we benefit from the injustice and love the benefits more than we despise the injustice. So we declare with resignation: “The poor will always be with us”.

Not surprisingly it was only after the disciples experienced Jesus as resurrected Lord that they began to practice justice and mercy in relationship with one another and with all those in need. Resurrection – God’s power over that which overpowers us – is what facilitated their new depths of faithfulness. Only in the light of the resurrection did they come to trust that nothing (not even justice long-thought-dead-and-buried) is beyond the transformative reach of God to unlock. It was only after their ultimate fear of death was overcome that they could overcome their fear of sharing what they owned with those in need. It was only after they were flooded with a rush of abundant life that they were convinced that their economics should be in the service of life for all rather than profit for a few.

It seems to me if we are going to live out radical economic transformation (in the deepest and most biblical sense of those words) which is so desperately needed in our country and world – we will need to knock, seek and ask for resurrection light and life to overwhelm us. Only the power to bring back the dead to life will be enough to free us to die to ourselves in seeking life for others, and this is at the very heart of radical economic transformation.

The Gospel promise of course is that whenever we die to ourselves to bring life to others then our lives are given back to us … new, full and fresh … as if we were born all over again.

In hope and in trust,

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