must be funny

5 08 2011

Money, as the great prophets said, must be funny in a rich man’s world.

Ok, it was Abba

We  appear to be standing on the brink of another financial crisis.  I wasn’t aware the last one had ended. But it must be bad because the supreme waffler Robert Peston is being wheeled out to ruminate in long, thoughtful and irregular sentences. So here we go again, another chance to have a go at the leaders, the bankers, the investors, the multinationals, the tax havens

But that is too easy. We know how easy it is. Unfortunately for self-righteous bloggers like me, I think it begins closer to home. I am imagining a conversation with Jesus something like this.

– Jesus, what do you think of the financial crisis?
– Tell me what do you think about it? (he always did that)
– I think it terrible, all these wealthy bankers acting like gamblers and squandering our money. You need to tell them to start behaving responsibly!
– There was once a man… (he always did that)

Jesus would probably go on to tell a pithy story about someone who managed their money well, whether they had hardly any or buckets of it, borrowing only what they could afford to repay, lending only what they knew could be repayed; he would tell a story about someone who was generous in heart and in money, whether they had hardly any or buckets of it; he would tell a story about someone who considered everything that they had a gift from God whether they had hardly any or buckets of it and that that would affect every decision they made and every sense of ownership and possession because everything comes from God and we can hoard it but we can’t keep it.

He would probably tell a story that honoured those who live in poverty and dishonoured self-righteous bloggers. He would probably tell a story that was funny, because though it is often lost on us his stories often were. Funny, but not shallow. He wouldn’t tell a story that gave us permission to bitch and gripe and moan about the others who are wealthy, because we are the wealthy. And his story would end with an imperative to act differently, perhaps even to love mercy, do justly and walk humbly with our God.

That isn’t very funny. But I think it just might work.

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