but ole man river, he just keeps rollin along

by Andrea Elizabeth

So, post fall there is deprivation and work to relieve it. Post Christ there is the command to give out of our necessity. It says to give to the poor, but what about Caesar? The period of judges didn’t last very long in Israel and a monarchy was established because Israel wanted to be like other nations even though they were warned it would cost them. It’s not all bad because Christ came from the line of King David. He didn’t seek to reestablish a political monarchy, but he is the king of heaven and said to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to obey governing authorities. He doesn’t really condemn any particular system of governance, even though he lived under the progressive, conquesting and enslaving Romans.

But what of the need for finery? Genesis shows quite a bit of progress within the first few generations of man:

4:20 And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.

21 And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ.

22 And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron:

Even though I have an affinity for stone age cultures, I can’t deny that advancement is not criticized in the Bible, even if these were the sons of Cain. Hey, wait a minute.

When the Hebrews were making the first Tabernacle they were to give all of their Egyptian jewelry and melt it into ornate temple instruments. Nobility was also expected to be finely arrayed. Rank means something and it is symbolized by costly, rare, fancy things. Even the Indians have their regalia embellished with fringe, feathers and beads.

But Jesus was poor!, you tie-dyed, holey jeaned hippies say. But are all called to complete kenosis? Should nobles’ stuff be forcefully taken as was the Romanovs’? Some criticize them for too passively giving it up to the Bolsheviks. Which brings me to the other topic in the back of my mind since watching the Civil Rights program last night on PBS where they discuss Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to non-violent resistance, and Black Power, which means more than Malcolm X says. I say there is a time to look down, and a time to look ’em in the eye. There’s a time to be poor, and a time to keep stuff. Why else would Jesus say, Who doesn’t calculate the costs when they build a barn? But don’t store up for yourselves stuff that moths and thieves can take away. Perhaps we can keep stuff if we recognize it isn’t ours, but belongs to a greater good, whether we know exactly what that is or not.

I am glad for the strong, black ladies who don’t take nothing from nobody. There are those who need to be taught to show some respect. But my heart goes out to the ones who still serve and have that velvet, comforting, unoffended touch.