Thursday, March 05, 2009
Praying With ...
A two-fer today, as I try to catch up. Does unbinding my heart this rapidly pose risks?
Anyway, the invitation for today is praying for children. As father of three, this is nothing new under the sun. I feel like I spend half my life as parent following Rabbi Heschel's advice that we "pray with our feet." I'm always chasing children.
Coincidentally, this evening was parent-teacher conference night for our elementary school one. This morning was the presbytery's social justice committee meeting. The connection?
We focused this morning on the economic crisis and the host of theological questions that the church should be posing in its midst. The first question, it seems to me, for the North American church must be: what is the richest country in the history of the world called to do at this moment. While sitting in the meeting, I ambled over to Global Rich List to see where I fall on the list of the world's richest people. My present salary (which is less than ten percent higher than the minimum for a pastor in National Capital Presbytery) puts me in the richest .88 percent of the global population. Number 53,205,017 to be precise.
We live in what passes for the working class section of Arlington and our youngest child goes to the school in the county that serves the highest percentage of free lunches and has the lowest scores on standardized tests. Yet it has the richest learning environment of any school that our three children have been in (in four states and several incredibly affluent school systems).
If we are to be honest in assessing the financial crisis we must first be honest in assessing our own wealth. If we are to be honest in praying for the children of the world, we must first be honest in confessing how much more we could be doing for them if we worried less about the state of our 401Ks and recognize the ridiculous abundance that we have at our disposal.
So, I see the great Rabbi's walking prayer and raise him one. We need to be praying with our checkbooks, too.
The image? I found that when I image-searched "praying with our checkbooks." So my final prayer of the day: thank you God for the world wide web!