The rich and the poor meet together; the Lord is the maker of them all. Proverbs 22:2 ESV
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. James 2:1-6a ESV
There’s a very old Chinese story about how people were created. The goddess Nuwa lived on the earth by herself, and she was lonely, so she decided to make some people. She made people out of mud and they came to life. She started out by making them carefully one by one with her hands, but after awhile she realized that it was taking too long. So she took some mud and threw it in all directions, and these globs of mud also became people. The people she made carefully with her hands became the rich and powerful people, and the people who came from the globs of mud that she threw became the poor and weak people.
This is very different from the true story of creation. God made our first parents with loving care, and all people come from the same parents. There aren’t any differences between the rich and powerful and the poor and weak. We are all made in God’s image and he loves and values us all the same. Some of the early Christians forgot this, though. When a rich person came to church, they gave him the very best place to sit, but when a poor person came they made him stand off to the side or sit on the floor. They forgot that God made all people, and that Jesus died for all people, and they started to think that rich people were more valuable or important. The Bible says that God often chooses people who are poor to be rich because of their faith in Jesus. They become children of God and will inherit God’s heavenly kingdom. This shows how much God loves them!
When God came to us in Jesus, he became poor for our sakes. He wasn’t rich or powerful. He lived in a small village with his family and worked as a carpenter, and when he started his ministry he didn’t even have a place to stay sometimes. He depended on other people to help him. He let himself be arrested by soldiers and to be beaten and whipped and put on the cross. He did all this to show how much he loved us and wanted to bring us back to himself. Because of Jesus, we are God’s people and will live with him in our heavenly home forever. That’s much more than any power or riches in this world could ever bring us!
Dear Jesus, thank you for loving all people, rich or poor, and for becoming poor so that all people can become rich through you. Amen.