Jesus, the Disinherited, and First UMC

Bill Moyers made the following remarks as part of a speech accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Baptist Churches:

Jesus has been hijacked. The very Jesus who stood in his hometown and proclaimed "The Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor." The very Jesus who told 5,000 hungry people that all people–not just those in the box seats–would be fed. The very Jesus who challenged the religious orthodoxy of the day by feeding the hungry on the Sabbath, who offered kindness to the prostitute and hospitality to the outcasts, who raised the status of women, and who treated even the despised tax collector as a citizen of the kingdom.

The indignant Jesus who drove the moneychangers from the temple has been hijacked and turned from a friend of the dispossessed to a guardian of privilege, a militarist and hedonist, sent prowling the halls of Congress like a Gucci-shod lobbyist, seeking tax breaks and loophole for the powerful, costly new weapons systems, and punitive public policies against people without power or status.

The struggle for a just world goes on. It is not a partisan affair. God is neither liberal nor conservative, Republican nor Democrat. To see whose side God is on, just go to the Bible. It is the widow and the orphan, the stranger and the poor who are blessed in the eyes of the Lord; it is kindness and mercy that prove the power of faith, and justice that measures the worth of the state. Kings are held accountable for how the poor fare under their reign. Prophets speak to the gap between rich and poor as a reason for God’s judgement. Poverty and justice are religious issues, and Jesus moves among the disinherited.

Amen and Amen. This is the direction I feel Coffeyville First UMC must move in. We have done so in the past (e.g. The Genesis Program), now we must do so again. We must recommit ourselves to those who Christ loves.

Posted by John