I don’t think I’m done yet talking about money’s tendency to hijack people that rightfully belong to Jesus. Maybe I won’t be for a while. Oddly, I’ve actually been thinking more and more about the gospel. Specifically, the gospel of the reign of God coming to earth as announced and practiced by Jesus. The good news is that God, through Jesus, is becoming the organizing center of the world again, usurping and judging the current powers that be. I have to say, it’s an amazing thought to me! God’s will is going to be done here!! God’s power and love are available here!!! The thing is, the more I think about the gospel in this way, the more I see how cash (and the dreams we think it can fulfill) is exactly the often preferred substitute for God and his gospel that Jesus said it was.
There’s a (relatively) old song from nine inch nails (head like a hole) that has stuck with me from the first time I heard it. Something about the juxtaposition of ‘god’ and ‘money’ that was cutting, disturbing, and accurate:
god money i’ll do anything for you
god money just tell me what you want me to
god money nail me up against the wall
god money don’t want everything he wants it all
no, you can’t take it . . .
no, you can’t take that away from me . . .
god money’s not looking for the cure
god money’s not concerned about the sick among the pure
god money let’s go dancing on the backs of the bruised
god money’s not one to choose
no, you can’t take it
no, you can’t take it
no, you can’t take that away from me
Why, again, are Americans so busy? Why can’t Americans have meaningful prayer time, or time for loving relationships and selfless service? Because we’re devoted servants. We’ve got to take care of those tasks that serve our master’s interests first. He says we can do the rest on our own time, whenever that may be.
Maybe we don’t think that Jesus would take us as his servants. Or maybe we don’t like or, more likely, don’t really understand Jesus’ dream for the world and for our lives in particular. Maybe we overestimate the extent of money’s power, and fail to perceive the ways in which it will fail us. Maybe we’re just unthinkingly doing what everyone does. Here’s hoping we all rethink our devotion to money in light of Jesus’ message: “The time’s finally here. God has come to earth to rule and provide. Reconsider your life and trust this good news.”