Sunday, September 23, 2012

Jesus and the 47%: Disabilities, Liabilities or Possibilities

"And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."
John 9:1-3

Interesting passage of scripture in light of this week's conversations about 'the 47%'. It's interesting in that any consideration of those whose lives appear to impose inconvenience upon the rest of us, are those who represent a wonderful opportunity - to demonstrate what God can do, by what we do when we encounter them. 

To the disciples he clearly represented a theological conundrum. But that presents all kinds of practical considerations: 'Are we obligated to preach to him?', 'Should we use him as an example of God's Judgement upon sinfulness?', 'What type of charity does he deserve?', 'How much charity does he deserve, and for how long?' 

I'm sure you can think of one or two more...

Jesus' answer was one which swept aside such considerations. In saying that this man's malady was an opportunity for God's work to be seen through him, He transformed the person before them as a man of all sorts of possibilities vs. someone with a disability, or someone who is a societal liability. 

This week we heard a statement that implied 47% of our country were fixed in their political preferences, self-appointed victim status and irresponsibility. Sweeping aside the gross inaccuracies and callousness of such statements, it's important for us to remember (especially for those of us who are Christians) that the presence of those who are weaker, who are less fortunate or in any way marginalized are opportunities for us to demonstrate the love, compassion and grace of God in the way that we handle them. 

What's your attitude for the 47%?

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