$110,000. What can you do with $110,000? If you want to build a hospital or start a company in the US, it’s not much to go on. In many cities in the US that amount of money won’t even buy you a small starter home.
I recently heard a post election interview on National Public Radio in which the person being interviewed said that their family income, for a family of four, was about $110,000. She went on to say that each year it was becoming more and more of a struggle to “get by.” And she was really worried about that. Get by? Really? $110,000 is about four times the poverty line for a family of four in this country. For millions of people in America, $110,000 looks like an unimaginable sum. And to the millions of people around the world living on less that a dollar a day, $110,000 looks like winning the lottery.
This Advent season is a time to examine the darkness that surrounds us. Often that darkness is of our own making. Our attitudes and assumptions and perspectives may be leading us to see a bleak picture. And that view may be distorted, skewed, and in need of refocus.
Advent is a time to step back and try to see afresh our context, our circumstances, and our assumptions. It’s a time to recalibrate our reality and get our perspective realigned. Or at least start to admit that we may not be seeing as clearly as we thought we were.
It is also a time to let the light in that may show us what we would rather not see. What does the light of Christ reveal about our incomes and our economic arrangements? While we may not be able to verify many facts about what is in the Bible, we can be sure that Jesus was poor. It seems by choice. And that he never saw the equivalent of $110,000 in the denarii of his day in his entire 33 years.
Examining the darkness and letting the light in may help us to see that we are far more blessed than we realized! And we may have thought we were just “getting by”!
Prayer: In these dark days, may I trust that the light of Christ still shines. Amen.
Remember to add an entry to your Advent journal about where you have seen darkness and light today. And consider putting a donation in your container for The Micah Center.