Meditations on Primordial Poverty

Jesus died naked on the cross. His nakedness was an expression of our nakedness and poverty, a nakedness and poverty we have violently tried to cover through the works of our hands. It was this violent covering that was at work through the religious hands of the Jews, and the civil hands of the Romans when they crucified the Prince of Peace. It is this violent covering that continues to work through us when we resist the knowledge of our poverty.

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In silence I am confronted with two questions: “To what am I looking to cover me” and “What am I hoping will fill me to overflowing?” As I drop a plumb line I see that beneath these questions, and beneath my manifold impulses and desires, I am seeking to cover a primordial poverty, a poverty¬† that is exacerbated by my sin and brokenness. Deeper than this poverty, however, as deep as the hand of God can reach, I see that God has emptied himself to make my poverty his own. He has owned this poverty, paid for it through his own self-emptying so that he might fill it with his own fullness. And so, as I acknowledge this poverty within myself, and see the gracious hand of God upon it, I find a sure but paradoxical path into the riches of God.

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