“When did we see you, Lord?” (Matthew 25:31-46) Right here. Right now.
“Wealth in America,” is a six-minute video that has gone viral. Americans are finally beginning to “see” inequality and judge it as wrong.
This video, using vivid graphics, shows how much income inequality Americans think we have (a lot!), what would be fair (a medium amount), and the actual and staggering amount of income inequality that is so large it goes off the charts.
You’ve got to actually be able to “see” inequality to start to change it, and the fact that this video is going viral gives us hope that is finally starting to happen.
This is like the parable Jesus tells of the “Judgment of the Nations.” At the Judgment, Jesus teaches, the goats (the unrighteous who ignored Jesus in the poor) are separated from the sheep (the righteous who did see Jesus in the poor and took care of them).
The unrighteous protest, amazed that they are being judged for having failed the poor, “When did we see you, Lord?” Right here. Right now.
Seeing it. Our real challenge has been getting the American people to actually recognize how huge a problem income inequality has become.
“Seeing it” is called critical consciousness. If you can’t “see,” you won’t “act” to change things. As my friend and co-author of Lift Every Voice: Constructing Christian Theologies from the Underside, Mary Potter Engel, once said, “The most liberating question you can ask is, ‘Who the hell set things up like this?’”
The vast income disparities we now have in the U.S. are a set up, a system devised to transfer wealth upward. That’s the real “Rapture,” when most Americans are “left behind” in this economy.
Here’s the good news: once you see it, you can recognize this inequality as a system somebody devised for their own benefit, you can judge it as unrighteousness, and you can confront it directly. And you can change it.
“When did we see you, Lord?” Right here. Right now.