Within the roots of our Christian faith are the Ten Commandments, and one of those commandments is to “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy”. Within this idea of Sabbath, is Sabbath economics, which is a redistribution wealth in a communal setting. In this current way of life, we live as consumers accumulating debt, where to live is to buy.
However, the Lord says, “It is hard for the rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus explains that the rich will become the poor and the poor rich. Christ came to earth to shake it of its current economic foundation, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim. Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4.16-21). Jesus calls for an inversion in our system of life, where power is found in giving up power, life found in death, riches found in poverty. As Christ has graciously forgiven us of our deserving debt, we must in turn forgive others of theirs. As a living church of brothers and sisters across the world, we are to be a helping hand in forgiving others their debts so they can live more freely from burden.
Break Ground - Give to the poor
According to the Borgen Project, annual expenditures of $19 billion between now and 2015
could eliminate global starvation and malnutrition, $12 billion per year could provide education for every child on earth, and an additional $15 billion each year could provide universal access to clean water and sanitation. The majority of us aren’t giving as big of a cut of our paycheck as we could. Both locally and internationally there are many avenues to give to the needy, hungry, homeless, and poor, look for local non-profits that solve issues you care about.
Dig Deeper - Forgive debts owed to you
The Lords Prayer states, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” The Lord has shown love and given us grace to the largest degree; it is only appropriate for us to give grace to others. Instead of asking your friends and family to pay back the money you have loaned them, show them grace and relieve them of their burden of debt. The money loaned is God’s money, He was the one who blessed you with it and wants you to bless others.
Amongst the Roots - Forgive the debts of others across the world
As Americans we are given many luxuries, more than we need to live and glorify God with. Because of our fortune, others are in famine. As we get richer, many times it is at the expense of those who are poor, who in turn get poorer. Let’s show the love of Jesus Christ by forgiving the poor of their debts. Help others in developing countries to step their way out of poverty by helping them to improve their life. Sacrifice a few of your luxuries and sponsor a child or buy them a gift that will forgive their debt: a camel, sheep, seeds to plant, a water basin, health and business training, etc.
Here are some venues you can use:
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
Sponsor a child: A monthly pledge of $25 will allow you to participate in the Child Sponsorship program. Your monthly participation is more than a sponsorship, it is an investment in a child’s life.
Pick A Project: Pick a project is a great way for people to learn about NCM projects throughout the world. Connect with and invest in specific projects of the church.
In 2007, Heifer had 867 active projects in 53 countries/provinces and 28 U.S. states. Heifer projects around the world help families achieve self-reliance through the gift of livestock and training. Gifts are passed from recipient to recipient until entire communities are transformed.
Mission: To work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth.
Strategy: To “pass on the gift.” As people share their animals’ offspring with others – along with their knowledge, resources, and skills – an expanding network of hope, dignity, and self-reliance is created that reaches around the globe. Choose a meaningful gift to give a loved one and help children and families around the world receive training and animal gifts that help them become self-reliant: Heifer, sheep, llama, water buffalo, knitting basket, livestock development, trees, rabbits, geese, ducks, pig, etc.
Oxfam America Unwrapped: Oxfam America (Oxfam International)
Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that has been providing lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice in the US and around the world for more than 35 years. Oxfam America works in 26 countries around the world. Buy a product that symbolically represents Oxfam’s work through programs that help poor people use their knowledge and power to transform their lives. The purchase of each gift item is a contribution toward Oxfam America's many programs. Your donation will be used where it is needed the most—to help people living in poverty throughout the world. After a gift is purchased, a card will be sent to either you or the person you bought it for. The card is a picture of the object you bought and then a personalized message can be written in it and the card will be received 7 to 10 days after bought (ecards also available).
The Greater Good Network (The Hunger Site, The Breast Cancer Site, The Literacy Site, The Child Health Site, Global Girlfriend, The Rainforest Site, Ecology Fund, The Animal Rescue Site) of websites offer the public an opportunity to support causes they care by daily clicking on the “Click To Give”. One hundred percent of sponsor advertising is paid as a royalty to charity through the non-profit, tax-exempt GreaterGood.org. Supporters can also contribute directly to charity by purchasing “Gifts that Give More”, where 100% of their donation is given to charity. Through the Greater Good Network’s partnerships with organizations all across the world, these “gifts” are dollar donations given to the organization that provides the service bought. A certificate will be e-mailed so you can print it out and give to someone or for yourself. Also you can purchase one of the 4500+ fair trade products where a charity royalty from 5-30% is paid on every item purchased