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April Fools?

I am the Living Bread which has come down from Heaven
Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14-16; Psalms 147:12-15, 19-20; 1Corinthians 10:16-17; John 6:51-58

Sermon Week The Body and Blood of Christ Cycle A

Scripture Summary John 6:51

When we talk about the jarring contrast between the "haves" and "have-nots" of this world, it is all-too-often through a sentimental haze of vague piety, demanding little more than lip service. As someone has pointedly said, "It is much safer, from Satan's point of view, to vaccinate a person with a mild case of Christianity, than to subject them to the real disease." -1

But when we talk about the "haves" and "have-nots" from a true, Christian perspective, we might start by comparing our experience in the U.S. with other countries. For example, the poorest five percent of Americans earn on average the same as the richest five percent of people in India. And the headline we see most often is that nearly half of the world's richest one percent live in the United States. Of course, we've heard these figures a thousand times before, but from our Christian perspective, these will continue to be troubling comparisons for as long as they exist.

Although most Americans still enjoy the comforts and security of life that are unattainable in so many other countries, there are some encouraging signs for those others. In fact, global poverty rates have steadily declined during the past 100 years. But in the United States, we see the opposite trend. Since the mid-1970s, research shows that income inequality has gotten wider. A new study reports that over 60% of Americans between the age of 25 and 60 will at some point in their lives rank in the bottom 20% of earners. And about 40% will live for a year or more in the bottom 10%. -2 And that points to a growing trend in this country -- dominating much of today's political and social discourse -- the feeling of "income insecurity." And yet we continue to see daily reminders of our culture turning a "blind eye" to this condition. For example, consider the recent addition to a major, upscale department store's (Nordstrom) Spring and Summer fashion lineup called "Mudstained Jeans."

With a price tag of 425 dollars, many who heard the announcement on the morning news shows must have [...]

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