Day 26 Devotional & Discussion – March 10, 2016

JAMES 5:1-5

Without employment and living wages, people are at risk of homelessness and housing instability. God also seems very upset at the income gap—some are living in great luxury while others have little or nothing.

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Does James suggest an answer to this problem?
  2. Does the gospel have an answer to this problem? If so, what?


According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a household would need more than one full time minimum wage worker to afford a two-bedroom rental apartment at fair market rent anywhere in the country. In Chicago, it’s even worse. A person must earn at least $47,067 to afford a median priced one bedroom apartment in Logan Square. Need something larger to accommodate a family? You’ll need to earn at least $70,237! A person making minimum wage ($10 per hour) would need to work 135 hours each week—the equivalent of three full time jobs and 1 part time job! Why do you think so many people are opposed to increasing the minimum wage? If we cannot raise the minimum wage, what other ways could we make housing more affordable for families? Contact Logan Square Neighborhood Association to find out about affordable housing initiatives.


One comment

  1. Bernie Sander’s intent is to expand Section 8 housing. When I met him many years ago at a symposium, he stated that the core of Judaism is an emphasis on ethics. He mentioned that Hillel said that the core of Judaism “is love; the rest is commentary.”

    When we love people as we love our family, we are concerned for their we’ll being, and desire adequate housing for them. As Susan Brooks Thistewaite suggests, we are called to see Jesus in the eyes of others, not as an apocalyptic end-times vision, but right now.

    I happen to believe in a literal second coming, but believe this will only occur when we have collectively transformed our world. So, we have work to do, in the here and now. We challenge gentrification and regentrification at the expense of those in need.

    I found the very successful “Left Behind” series of novels (while being extremely well written) to be banal in suggesting that those who believe the “one right way” will be raptured, while the rest of us will be left behind.

    When we embrace Jesus’ life-style, the way early house churches did, we are allegorically “raptured,” as we rise above the ways of the world and live Chrisianity in life-style, rather mere belief. We challenge our governor and mayor, thereby inviting God “back to His / Her garden.

    What we do to the least, we do unto Him. So we develop a preferential status, towards those who are economically challenged. We nurture and care for those in need. They are our family, a part of the vine.

    Years ago when I shared this perspective at Moody Bible Church, I was told by Pastor Lutzer that I “was not a Christian.” In time, I gave up my membership. I was not alone, thankfully.

    Let us work to prepare our city, our nation and our world for Jesus’ return. Jesus’ life-style is paradigmatic — what we are asked to emulate.

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