Sell your possessions and give to the poor.
Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Several of us have been discussing this week what these words of Jesus mean for us in the Shevet Achim community.
Our goal is to seek first the kingdom of God, and trust him together to meet our basic needs. At Prophets Street our housing and meals are covered from community funds. And for those who have need we can also draw on community funds for a monthly personal stipend of $175; help with medical expenses; with a trip home after each year of service; and with monthly payments on obligations such as student loans.
No one is making any money; no one is starving. Proverbs 30 describes well what weâ€™re aiming for:
Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, â€˜Who is the LORD?â€™
Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Now it is one thing to hold to this principle in theory, and something else entirely to live it out across the varying circumstances of each community member. This week weâ€™re grappling with this question:
What if I have personal funds or assets set aside for a specific purpose? Perhaps a retirement fund. Or a house back in my home country. Or money meant to help a family member. Should I still draw on community funds for my daily needs?
Iâ€™m grateful for this blog, because I fully expect that we hear the word of the Lord spoken through the lips of each other. When he combines each of us with our unique experience and perspective into one bodyâ€”then we will see the whole picture.
So letâ€™s start a lively conversation now by using the opportunity to comment below. I want to ask that we consider this question in the light of last weekâ€™s blog about â€œLiving Out the Sermon on the Mount.â€ Still echoing in my ears are the cries of a world dying to see people who live differently.