Perhaps you’ve read or heard the hoopla and accolades for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet this past week, as they reportedly persuaded 11 more of their billionaire peers to give their money away, or at least a portion of it. Gates and Buffet have been on a quest to have other billionaires sign a pledge to give away half of their income while they are still living, and they currently have 92 billionaire families on board. This represents quite a donor powerhouse, especially as they begin to coordinate and collaborate on how it will be donated. As you read the list of donors, it is a who’s who of influence, privilege and status. They are living examples of the “American dream” and serve to encourage others who want to be like them.
I don’t necessarily intend judgment on or applause for Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and the other 90 billionaire families, their lifestyles or their values. I would, however, like to suggest that we think about the values and lifestyle Jesus implies are representative of the kingdom of God, according to our passage from Mark’s gospel this week. It’s not too surprising that the things most valued by the world are often of least value in the kingdom of God. Similarly, those who seem to have it all, we sometimes find out, have very little at all, while those who seem to have very little are those who have it all. Please consider the values and qualities Jesus implies are representative of His kingdom and how that may challenge you (it certainly challenges me) to live by grace for Him.