"The Spirit of the Lord is on me. He has anointed me to tell the good news to poor people. He has sent me to announce freedom for prisoners. He has sent me so that the blind will see again. He wants me to free those who are beaten down. And he has sent me to announce the year when he will set his people free."
- Luke 4:18-19
In the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, the seventh year was set aside as the 'Year of Jubilee' - a year when slaves were freed and debts were forgiven. It was a year of restoration - a way of re-setting the tables. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus reads a text from the Book of Isaiah in which he proclaims himself to be the fulfillment of God's promise of jubilee. Not only did Jesus come as God's ultimate act of forgiveness, but he became living evidence of God's compassion and love for 'the least of these.' The poor, the sick, the imprisoned, and those of the margins of society were all welcomed in Jesus' presence. Women like Amy would have felt right at home...
Poverty doesn't look so simple when seen in the faces of people we meet. Poverty can look like the loss of a loved one, or a medical crisis. It might come in the form of a lost job or a cut in hours. Or it might be a family that teaches its children how to obtain benefits instead of encouraging them to earn an education and seek employment. Sometimes poverty can even look like a home or apartment that's become unaffordable.
Questions to Consider:
- How can the household a person is born into influence the outcome of their life?
- What individual challenges may lead to poverty and homelessness?
- What if you had no one to turn to for help in a crisis?
- Is 'pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps' myth or reality?
- What aspects of Amy's story resonate with you?