Debt Forgiveness and Stewardship Repentance

As I am reading various texts for my New Testament class, I am reminded both of God's instruction to the Hebrews to regularly forgive debt and the Israelites recognition of calamity as a message requesting repentance. I wonder how the Hebrew Word of God speaks to our contemporary situation. I also wonder how the words of Jesus spoken to people living in a possibly similar time of economic crisis and empire rule speak to us today.

For one, I wonder why we are taking out more loans in order to "cure" our economic ill. Is there a way that we could make a move of debt forgiveness? What would happen, if, the President or Congress announced that every single debt held within the U.S. is forgiven and that all the books need to be cleared and new books created?

I recognize that there are a lot of challenges to this proposal, specifically because our money has become electronic. But, is there some way that this principal of forgiveness could be applied to our current situation?

I also wonder about the idea of repentance. It has been recognized for far too long that we are a consumer obsessed society and that our wealth, while benefiting the nations of the world, can be a contributor to the poverty of the nations. Wealth is not being distributed even close to equally. I'm not asking for it to be distributed equally, but rather for recognition that some of this unequal distribution is unjust! We need to repent!

Don't we also need to repent of our materialism and of our making comfort into an idol? Do we need to repent of our over-consumption of natural resources? Do we need to repent of making money our god?

What would happen, if instead of fasting and praying for forty days in order to fight against the legalization of homosexual union or to fight abortion, we fasted out of repentance for the sins we've already committed? What if we called a national weekend of somber repentance in which all believers in this nation were asked to refrain from entertainment and spending in order to fall before God in repentance on behalf of the Church and the nation? What if we recognized that this sin is not just a sin of the nation, but also a sin of the Church? Look at us!

Where does change start? Change starts here, with us, the Christians! "Change" means to "repent." "Repent" means to "change."

Do we really want to see change in this country? Or should I say, Do we really want to see repentance in this country? Ooh, that hurts. Next time you hear someone say "we are in need of change," translate it in your head to "we are in need of repentance." Because, oh are we in need of repentance!!!

So, who is going to start this Campaign for Change? What is the plan? What is the first step? How are you going to spread the word? When is it going to happen?

REPENT. Any suggestions?

By the way, I admit that I've contributed to our debt. I do have a credit card with debt on it. I admit that I own more than I need. Just look at my closet. I do not need any more clothing. I admit I like comfort and as a result at times I'm reluctant to give it up. I admit I've contributed to the problem. I have already taken some steps to change, but I need to take more.


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