Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Prayer for Saturday, December 31, 2011

“Blood Money”

We would never betray you, so we tell ourselves, O Lord—and we certainly would not betray you for money.

And yet—

You once said that insofar as we tended to or neglected the needs of those who are hungry, sick, naked, or in prison we tended to or neglected you; it is not a stretch, therefore, to say that insofar as we are faithful to them we are faithful to you and insofar as we betray them we betray you

and you also said that

where our treasure is, there our heart would be, too.

And so—

Give us the willingness to face up to how we are betraying you by betraying others—in particular others who are desperately hurting—through the ways we use our money or the ways we save our money or the ways we invest our money; give us the insight, the compassion, and the courage to investigate how people--even and maybe especially people on the other side of the world and definitely at the other end of the economic ladder--are negatively impacted by the ways that we more affluent Christians spend, save, and invest our money.

Do we hold blood money in our pockets or in our products?

Forgive us, O Lord, for our betrayals of you.

Help us, O Lord, to spend the rest of our lives working at making it right.


“When Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. He said, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is that to us? See to it yourself.’ Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since they are blood money.’ After conferring together, they used them to buy the potter’s field as a place to bury foreigners. For this reason that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one on whom a price had been set, on whom some of the people of Israel had set a price, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.’” (Matthew 27:3-10)

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