Luke 3:8–14 (NRSV): 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance… 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
When asked to clarify “Bear fruits worthy of repentance” Jesus replies with a strong emphasis on economic issues. There’s the sharing of coats and food. Tax collectors should collect only what’s owed. Soldiers should stop forcing people to pay their way out of false charges. That sort of thing.
We’re a very wealthy nation, one of the wealthiest in human history. Not everyone will have the same amount of economic resources at their disposal. There have always been socio-economic classes and I expect there always will be. However, there is always the temptation for people of power and influence to take advantage of others, especially in a capitalist country like ours.
Lord, give us grace to share our wealth – as a nation and as individual persons. You bless us to be a blessing to others. Amen.