Day 1 of 7

Redistribution


Leviticus 19:9-18

9“ ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest.10Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.

11“ ‘Do not steal.

“ ‘Do not lie.

“ ‘Do not deceive one another.

12“ ‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

13“ ‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.

“ ‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.

14“ ‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.

15“ ‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

16“ ‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.

“ ‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.

17“ ‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

18“ ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Pray:

Lord, make us mindful of how our excess is connected to the lack in our neighbor’s lives. Remind us that we are indeed our neighbors’ keeper, and that we are all interconnected.

Reflect:

The farmer’s responsibility to care for the vulnerable, the poor and the foreigner, by not going over their vineyard a second time or picking up grapes that had fallen, illuminates the interconnectedness of the covenant community God intended. Scripture repeatedly illustrates that we are blessed to be a blessing, not to horde or contain what we have been entrusted to steward within our individual household. This text also explicitly cautions Israel not to steal, rob, or pervert justice. These are things that they will eventually struggle with. These sins will fracture the covenant community that God intended, creating violations that will lead to socioeconomic disparities, inequalities, and systemic injustice.

Mahatma Gandhi is credited with saying, “There is enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” Today’s reading shows how God intended this to play out within the confines of covenant community.

Respond:

What’s one way that you could share in the responsibility of caring for the vulnerable in your community?