Romans 12 and Poverty

Romans 12 and Poverty May 16, 2012

Thanks to Timothy Gombis, I came across this stimulating piece by Siu Fung Wu in Sight- Seeing. Listen to the opening biographical element:

I was born in a relatively poor urban neighbourhood in Asia. As a child I had to work to earn money so that we could have enough to make ends meet. Everyone in the family worked long hours in order to survive. We didn’t have a bedroom and the whole family slept in one bed. I find that people can understand these facts intellectually. But most don’t understand the anxiety and fear that are associated with these living conditions.

Wu then talk about how Rom 12:9-17 could work itself out in practice and Wu gives examples from his own Australian context in Melbourne.

My experience in our community has convinced me that sharing lives with the poor and marginalised will help us come to a better understanding of the Scripture and God’s heart. Paul’s vision is that we will associate with the lowly – the outcast, the poor and needy (Romans 12:16). It is not about the rich reaching down to the poor. Instead, it is about learning from them and realising the grace of God that has been poured out into their lives. It is about crying with them and standing in solidarity with them.

It’s a good read.

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  • S Wu

    Thank you for posting this, Mike.

  • bill victor

    And perhaps the giving, leading and caring gifts mentioned in 12.8 help facilitate the church providing for the needs of the poor.

  • S Wu

    Thanks, Bill. You raised a very good point. I plan to do a study on “generosity” in Paul, especially in 2 Corinthians. I am interested in how Paul’s understanding of the cross shapes his view on generosity, which in turn has great implications to how we can be a love-centred community of Christ.