I tell them how rich we are. Did they think they were rich when they walked in the door? No, they answer. But I tell them how other kids in the world don’t have water or don’t have clean water. How kids go hungry. I tell them about seeing a boy their age in Africa who was wearing a dress (a tattered, too-big dress –obviously the only clothing he can find). I tell them about hundreds of thousands in Lima, Peru who have no doctor.
And then I read them Jesus’ words.
It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:23)
We’re the rich ones, kids. We’re filthy rich.
Did you eat more than one meal today? Did you have a choice of what clothing to wear? Were you able to take a bath? Yes, they say. We’re the rich ones.
And we cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:23)
Class is over, and this one beautiful child asks could she please talk to me for a minute. So we find a step, and I pat for her to sit snuggled up close to me. And she tells me how she and her friends went in together to come up with $3.00 so their poor friend could buy a recorder for the school music class.
Entering the kingdom of heaven requires a strict view of money. Money is for sharing not for loving. Money is for easing stomach hunger and for buying a slum-living little boy some pants and a shirt. Money is for buying a recorder for a friend who can’t afford one.
What would you do if you were rich?