In the coming weeks Congress will be making decisions that deeply affect our common life together. Now is the time to contact your elected representatives to ask that they broadly prioritize grace over greed.
May 2, 2023
“The Bible is consistent in its witness that God desires humans to live together in authentic community: in an economy of abundance in which neighbors love and care for each other and no one lives in scarcity.” –United Methodist Book of Resolutions ˆ¶4064
“In our Wesleyan tradition, greed is an impediment to holiness. John Wesley taught and practiced that excessive wealth, absent of effective stewardship and radical charity, prevents a believer from growing in grace and cultivates sinful actions and attitudes.” –United Methodist Book of Resolutions ˆ¶4056
As United Methodists we are called to embrace a theology of abundance – rooted in the knowledge that through grace God has provided enough for us to flourish, without a need to amass individual protections or wealth. We do not believe grace is earned; God’s grace is abundantly poured out on all, without any requirements or justifications. Like the Israelites in the desert, we are called to refrain from hoarding resources, trusting that the Lord will provide enough for the whole community (Exodus 16). We are called to advocate for the least among us, ensuring that each person’s needs are met – not just those of our family or community.
Moral decisions in our modern era can feel complicated, especially as we struggle to balance concerns about our family and community’s safety and wellbeing with the reality of systems of oppression and violence that surround us daily. Fear can make it feel like we must compete for resources and security, as if we must individually secure our futures above and beyond those of our neighbors.
If we truly believe in abundant grace, we must view the world differently. If we truly believe that God amply supplied the needs of all creatures from creation (Genesis 1) and that God commanded humankind to care for the most vulnerable among them (Deuteronomy 26:12), then we must choose a theology of grace over greed.
We can also see this choice in the ways Congress approaches policy decisions:
- In immigration: choosing the grace of hospitality, over the greed of building for-profit detention centers;
- In healthcare: choosing the grace of expanding Medicaid, over the greed of tightening restrictions for political gain;
- In peacebuilding: choosing the grace of funding programs to help life to flourish, instead of the greed of funding arms manufacturers;
- In poverty: choosing the grace of ensuring all have access to nutrition and affordable housing, over the greed of making cuts to critical programming;
- In climate justice: choosing the grace of supporting communities struggling in the face of the climate crisis, over the greed of extractive, exploitative industries plundering God’s good creation.
There are many agents of fear in our modern world that loudly advocate for policies of greed and self-protection. In the coming weeks Congress will be making decisions that deeply affect our common life together including choices about the debt ceiling, tax and spending priorities, the Farm Bill and the National Defense Authorization Act.
Use the form via the link below to contact your elected representatives today and ask that they broadly prioritize grace over greed and in the coming weeks look for invitations to take targeted actions as specific legislation is considered.