I found this picture of the Rev. Dr. Baneck and an evangelist in our partner church at a celebration of a rescue center. The conversations in these situations can be quite moving and the relationships developed in the mutual faith in Christ are pointed and bring to mind the close relationship that exists even when the partner is half way around the world. From Southeast Asia to the former Soviet Union to South America and the Caribbean these partnerships and formed and develop over time. There are some at home that question the very nature of these partnerships and even question if we should do any mercy work at all. The rest of us need to have a conversation about what Paul meant in his discussion focused upon raising money to give to poor people when he said that there needed to be “equality” or fairness.
In 2 Cor 8.13–15, Paul stipulates as the goal of the collection for the poor saints in Jerusalem the ideal of ‘equality’: ‘for the purpose is not that there [should be] relief for others and affliction for you, but rather [it should be] out of equality. In the now time, your abundance should supply their lack, in order that their abundance may supply your lack, so that there may be equality. As it is written: “The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little”.
We need to have a conversation with those who believe that those who have too little need to continue to be that way. Does that mean that those we who have too much should continue to do so?