The federal government is getting ready to mail those stimulus checks. As always, the conventional wisdom says that our economic challenges can all be met if we just get out there and buy things. Stimulate that economy. Spend that check. It was the same message we got after 9/11 and it's the same message we get any time our society and economy takes a hit. The message says "consume." Consume, and all, we are told, will be well.
This is a message that is profoundly anti-gospel. Jesus never, in my reading of Scripture, tells people to go out and buy things. He tells them to sell all they have and give it to the poor. He tells them to store up for themselves treasure in heaven. But he never says to go out and go shopping.
Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation offers a different approach for your stimulus check. Their "Give it 4 Good" campaign encourages each of us to use part or all of our checks to help reduce global poverty. They are asking each of us to give 100 percent, 10 percent, or 0.7 percent of our check to organizations that are working to achieve the Milliennium Development Goals. If you don't have a favorite organization, there are a number of them listed on the EGR website.
Think ahead, because pretty soon, those checks will be in the mail.