Monday, September 1, 2008

On Money and God

It's a bit of a cliche to say that in today's world Money is God. But this does not stop it being true.

What else can be said, however, in elaboration on this theme?

I was just today struck by the thought that people now want to 'get into' money in the same way that in the past they wanted to 'get into' God. And by 'get into' I'm not talking about becoming fascinated by or being a besotted fan of, but literally storming and conquering the surrounding walls of -whatever it is that you want to 'get into'; in this case money.

I was thinking this because I was thinking of the banking system and how incredibly defensive and frenetically vigilant it has to be, on and off line, because of what it's in possession of - vast amounts of money; and because getting their hands on vast amounts of money is precisely the sort of thing most people want to do.

God, when he mattered more to people than he now does was also somewhat extravagantly defended. A flaming sword held by Cherubims blocking the way to the Garden was just the start of it. God, so it seems, has never much liked people presuming, in all their mortal ordinariness, that they had automatic rights of ownership over what he/she/it is; or liked it when they claimed or even sought an existential equivalence to him.

And yet, in Jesus, all this is overthrown. The abyss between humanity and God is abridged and filled in. The veil in the Temple is torn. Not only does the uncreated I AM become a human being like us, but he dies, nay, is murdered by us, an act which he then forgives us for. In Jesus' resurrection he prefigures our own future freedom from the shackles of damnation and death, the liberation of the universe, it might be said, from its intense disappointment with its own obvious flaws.

I wonder, will there be a similar removal of that veil standing between the multitudes and the untapped, unharnessed material abundance of the earth? Of a type as restorative of, as ameliorative towards, our physical and material condition, as has been the tearing asunder of the veil in the Temple to our spiritual condition. Might we come to walk with God in the abundance of a transfigured Earth as readily as we can now walk with God, through Jesus, in the exalted, yet bodiless, domains of the spirit? That would be nice. Thy Kingdom come, after all, On Earth.

Is this what Paul is referring to, moreover, when he writes that we wait for the redemption of our bodies?

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