Luke Timothy Johnson: The Alternation of Attentive Care
The interaction with Northern Seminary students has been warm this weekend despite the frigid cold outside in Chicago (pictured above). One student talked at length about how “sharing is caring” which made me think about how sharing our abundance becomes their supply and also our way of showing care to others in need. This led me to read an excerpt from Johnson’s classic scholarly work on the topic.
People get intimidated by the word “equality” in Paul’s correspondence with the Corinthian church regarding the function of their sharing with the starving saints in Jerusalem. Some mistake it for socialism or communism dictated by exaction. Johnson, however, unpacks how equality portrays Christianity in it’s purest form. “The alternation of attentive care” reflects the “love one another” generosity aspect of our faith.
Some days we get to give. Other days we receive. Thus, “the alternation of attentive care” is not about taking care of friends, but about showing the world we are eager to share with others in the family of God in gratitude for God’s care for us. As you think with me about “abundance” this year, ask yourself what you possess in abundance that could be shared attentively with fellow believers in need.
Share with them how you’d like them to share with you if you were in need.
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