Jeremiah 33:14-16; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13; Luke 21:25-36
Today’s gospel text describes the need for our readiness to comprehend the “signs of the second coming of Jesus Christ”. Similarly, the theme of our meditation presupposes a concern to read the signs and patterns of economic growth and its impact on life in general.
The rise in the stock market may usually indicate a growth in the economy. But this may not be true. During the first six months of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, while the Indian economy was shrinking the stock market was surging high. Likewise, when the economy of a state flourishes, it may not necessarily mean that all its citizens are experiencing economic growth. It is likely that the benefits of a flourishing economy are confined to the rich and powerful, whereas the people in the margins remain deprived of the above benefits. Adam Smith, the 18th century Scottish social philosopher and political economist opined that no society can be flourishing and happy, of which a far greater part of members are poor and miserable. Thus, if the economy is flourishing but its benefits are restricted to few, then how can such an economy be life-flourishing? In fact, such an economy would only be life-crippling.
The Old Testament prophesied of the Messianic age where justice will rule the land (Jeremiah 33:15). In the spirit of justice, the economy must begin with equal opportunity to all and must flourish with proportionate sharing by all. Edmund Phelps, the 2006 Nobel Laureate in Economics suggests that when economic growth and economic opportunity for the workers on the margin declines, the roaring stock market and high level of economic growth will not result in mass flourishing. In such a context, we are challenged by the words of Paul, “and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). Our abounding love for each other and for all must find expression in equal opportunity of engagement in the economy by those at the periphery, where instead of focusing on a ‘flourishing’ economy, we should strive for an economy which is ‘life-flourishing.’
-Shailesh Dennis Lall, Church of North India
Giver God, let your love so inspire us that instead of desiring our personal gain, we would be considerate to promote and work for an economic system which would benefit all, especially the downtrodden. Amen.
People Living with Disabilities
Lord, we pray for a world and societies with reduced prejudice and discrimination so that all people with disabilities can claim their full rights and experience human dignity.
Lord, during this period of climate change and the unprecedented threat of COVID-19 we pray for the spiritual, physical and mental protection of all who are already vulnerable – let your grace shine in their (our) lives. May God’s mercy lead them (us) to understand their (our) potential and recognise each individual’s unique self-worth.
Lord, we pray for the caregivers, both family members and professionals. May they know God’s wisdom, patience, comfort, strength and peace, especially the caregivers of those with intellectual disabilities.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
-Belinda Chen, Peace Foundation/Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
Image by Presbyterian Church in Taiwan(PCT).