Last week Saturday, my son and I went to a Saturday evening church service to read the lessons during advent. It was short and sweet, looking forward to the birth of Christ.
Yes, I know, it may not have been December 25th. I am not here to argue that point, because the point is, Jesus was born. That's the important part of the message.
The part of the service that interested me the most was that of the Gospel. John the Baptist, who went out before God, to baptize people in the name of God, even got arrested for it, but stayed faithfully strong through everything.
In Luke 3:7-18, groups of people came in crowds, masses, to be baptized by him, for what ever their own purposes were. John tells them to be the good fruit worthy of repentance, because even one that comes from a line of good blood won't help you if you're the rotten fruit that spoils the bushel. Now, what was so interesting about this particular lesson? Well, it's about the masses asking John the Baptist, "What shall we do?" And John basically tells them that whom ever has extra share with those who don't have. For example, those with 2 coats should give one to someone who doesn't have one. If you have extra food, you should give it to someone who has nothing to eat. Tax collectors, which can be interpreted today as politicians/government to only take what is meant for them to take. Soldiers (which can be our law enforcement people as well as military, but would be most public workers) should be satisfied with what they make.
Now, mind you, this isn't about gathering the Christmas spirit by saying that it's only this time of year to be generous or humble. This is something to live as part of our daily routine, to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. It struck me as very interesting, because I'd had a certain couple of ladies wonder if I was missing something when I disagreed with them about people and/or corporations making as much money as they wanted. I don't see that message here in the Gospel. These couple of ladies always tried to find a way to chastise me in a certain blogging area that I don't participate in any more, because some of them were like talking to a brick wall that spit cement back.
I'm just wondering, now, if people who head the corporations are allowed to "make as much money as they want", how are the contributing to the fact that if they have extra, they should give it to someone who doesn't have? It's one thing to be charitable, because in reality, there will always be someone who is in need, and they should get the help that they want to get up onto their feet. This does NOT mean that we can help everyone, because some plain do not want to be helped.
But, in the case of those who are capable of doing something, and just fell flat on their face at some point, and need a hand up, to me, rather than "making as much money as I want", just to look good in public by 'giving away' a portion of my extra, it would make more sense to spend my extra by offering this person a job, where they can feel proud to earn what they received.
Some corporate top leaders rake in millions, maybe even billions. Them giving about $10grand is a piece of cake, it's not even close to being the extra. That's only a portion of their extra. Yet how many people right now are hurting for something? Everyone is in need all over, it seems. Unemployment is high, and there is a skills gap. We finally got something going to try to close that gap.
I am finally happy that our governor, Scott Walker, is now going to tame down his far right controversial law making practices, and do things that are for ALL people of Wisconsin, which is to help us stabilize the economy by ensuring that there are enough jobs for those who can work, but also to grant those who want to be trained in the fields that need people can be trained in those skills. Because seriously? It takes more work to try to figure out ways to jump through the hoops to try to defraud the system, than it is to actually work for a living. The accomplishment of working for your own keep is a satisfactory feeling as well.
With more people able to get an education with the grants, the better off we will be. Many of our baby boomers are on their way to retiring. That leaves a LOT of positions with skills needed to be filled, and not necessarily ones that our current unemployed workers are qualified to take. With this, we can ensure that more of us can live up to the expectation of helping those around us.
And while we're at it, lets all remember, those who won't work, won't eat. If one can't, well, that's why we are here to help. If one can, but refuse, that's a choice, and we MUST remember that we can't help everyone, because one who won't work won't appreciate or take your help, either.
Merry Christmas to everyone. One last note... You don't have to be Christian, or even religious, to care about people. Helping people in need when you are able to do so is not about obeying a request from a higher power. It's about doing the right thing, because it feels good to do so.