I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between 14your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. (2 Corinthians 8:13-14).
Paul is writing in the above passage to the Church in Corinth, encouraging them to make good on their financial pledge to the starving Church in Jerusalem. The rhythm of the wealthy or those with abundance taking care of the poor or those in need is at the heart of the biblical witness. Striking what Paul calls the fair balance or as the prophets would say, justice, is a major indicator of fidelity to the God of Abraham and Jesus.
As Christians, our principal lens with which we view the world is not that of winners and losers, or who gains financially or in terms of power. Instead we follow the metric of the God revealed in the Bible and ask: how are the poor affected? Is the common good served?
Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act needs to be evaluated in light of the above questions. While Court observers and pundits are looking for signs of political leanings and electoral effect, as Christians, we will want to be reading the opinion with an eye toward justice. Has health care moved from a commodity to a common good for all? Who is left behind, if any one?
Conversations we will have with friends and coworkers may be tense, reflecting the political polarization in the country these days. But my hope is that rather than giving in to the rhetoric of winners and losers, we can in good faith invite our fellow citizens into deeper questions…. Is there a fair balance for all?