If we are to be a hopeful and patient people in a world of injustice, however, we cannot just identify with the “cause” of the poor, we must be like them poor and powerless.Too often ideals and strategies for “social justice” are but formulas that attempt to make the poor and oppressed better off without requiring anything of us. But when we read that the poor, the merciful, peacemakers, the meek, the persecuted, the pure in heart are blessed, we can only presume those descriptions apply to anyone who would be a follower of Jesus. The question we must address to ourselves as Christians is: How is it that we who are Christians are so rich? And even more, how has our being such led us to misread the gospel as essentially an apolitical account of individual salvation, rather than the good news of the creation of a new community of peace and justice formed by a hope that God’s kingdom has and will prevail.Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom, 105
Answers to the latter, highlighted, questions truly do inform our willingness to join the poor, the persecuted, the meek etc. in being poor, persecuted, meek and so on.
How have we gotten so rich?
How have we come to think of the ‘rights’ and ‘privileges’ we enjoy, as Christians in the West, as aspects of our life acceptably possessed?
How have we allowed this to affect our reading of the gospel?
How do we come to be a community of the new creation, unafraid of dispossession, oppression and persecution etc.? A people willing to join those currently dispossessed and oppressed, because we follow Jesus resurrected whose community of peace, justice and meekness shall inherit the earth.