“Suffer the little children”: Jesus denounces child hunger in America

“Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'” (Matthew 19:14)

A new documentary, American Winter, is a powerful indictment of the real suffering caused for children and their families by conservative “austerity” economic policies, like the sequester.

The King James translation, cited above, uses “suffer” to mean “let the children come.”

But today the word “suffer” offers new insight. The suffering of children and their families from hunger should cause us to ask, ‘what happens when your economic policies deliberately cause children and their families to suffer from hunger, cold and uncertainty?’

Our American economy has become the opposite of the Kingdom of Heaven. Do God’s will, Jesus teaches us to pray, so we will live “on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10b)

And when we do the opposite? This economy bears very little resemblance on earth as in heaven.  Do you think that would not be judged and denounced by Jesus?

Think again.

 

 

About Susan Thistlethwaite

I am a Professor of Theology and former President of Chicago Theological Seminary; I blog here, at the Huffington Post, and at other venues. I am a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. I am interested in what I call "public theology," or how deeper meaning is made and contested in the public square.
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