This is Labor Day weekend. Labor Day originated in the 19th century as labor unions spread across the country. One of the first things that comes to mind when we think of work is our paychecks. After all, the main reason most of us work as much as we do is for the income. (If we’re fortunate, we also have a sense of fulfillment from our jobs, but I doubt any of us would work quite as much as we do if we had infinite money.)
As integral as money is to our work, we’re strangely reluctant to talk about it. There’s an unspoken rule in most jobs not to discuss salaries, and that’s certainly not something we discuss over dinner with friends.
We should always pay attention to taboos because that means they’re sources of incredible power. Our discomfort discussion money is a signal that money has a lot of power in our culture (no duh, right?).
It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that Jesus has a lot to say about money – he actually talks about it more than just about anything else! And the whole bible has a lot to say about money – it’s just about all radically counter to whichever cultures the biblical authors lived in.
All of which is to say that we’re going to talk about money today. Because Jesus believed what he had to say about money is good news.
Clock that: not manipulative. Not designed to make us feel guilt or shame. But genuinely good news. Jesus’ perspective on money, on generosity, is challenging – particularly in our culture of consumption and competition.