Thursday, December 3, 2015
John The Baptist and Mary's Magnificat: The Economics of Hope - Nancy Rockwell in Patheos
Each advent, John the Baptist steps up, announcing that the economics of the empire and the temple are a corrupt system. People listened to him because they already knew this to be true.
We've gotten so used to thinking of John the Baptist as a secondary figure to Jesus, the message was meant only to point towards Jesus. In this we sell him well short.
The corruption of the temple economy was at the center of John's attention. His leaving Jerusalem, his camel skin clothing and his diet of honey and locust were signs of his refusal to participate in that economy.
Yet for all of his fiery conviction, John's answer to the corrupt economy is practical, reasonable, and most of all, full of hope: You who have two coats, give one away to someone who has none, he says. You who have two loaves of bread, do likewise. Behave fairly, treat people justly, no matter what job you have.
Changing the economy is John's answer to Herod's imperial acts of terror and the Temple Leader's economic exploitation. He teaches that we can build a world of hope among us by meeting each other's needs.
Mary of Nazareth, Jesus’ mother and John’s cousin, and the other Forerunner who is our Advent guide, rings out the same message, telling about how God scatters the proud in the imaginations of their hearts, who brings down the powerful from their thrones and lifts up the lowly, who fills the hungry with good things and sends the rich empty away.
The repentance John advises to the crowds is economic change. The dedication Mary sings about is the same. These actions are hopeful, and in their view, fit preparation for the redemption of the world.
The full article is available here