Transbiblica Monthly Reflections: 29 January 2022

Sustainable Development Goal 1 – No Poverty

‘None in Need’

In the shalom reality of God’s kingdom no one is in need

In its earliest days the early Church manifested the fulfilment of the Old Testament ideals within the concept of shalom: “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had… There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.” Acts 4:32,34-35. They did this because of their faith in Jesus as the anointed one, the Lord, the Prince of Peace (shalom), who makes shalom a social reality by the transformative power of the Holy Spirit at work in the followers of Christ.

In Luke 4:18-19, when Jesus claimed to be the fulfilment of the vision of Isaiah 61:1-2 (to bring good news to the poor and the release of captives), the coming shalom reality is what He had in mind. As James makes clear in his epistle, equity must be a hallmark of every local church. Our collective communal strength in-Christ then becomes a blessing of public good to others in need. From our love for God and one another flows our love for neighbour and ‘enemies’. From our commonwealth as followers of Christ, we challenge injustice, and we meet the needs of the poor. In-Christ the oppressed are freed and economic harmony can be created as a witness to the world of the now/not-yet time of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:19).