The conversation was led by Amahoro founder Claude and Kelly Nikondeha and this is what they had to say as an intro to the discussions for the week:
As God challenges us to seek justice as part of living out His Gospel imperative in the world, His instructions often touch on economic issues. When describing his mission, Jesus chose the metaphor of Jubilee, a concrete economic practice of debt forgiveness, to showcase the kind of Gospel He was preaching. His Kingdom was good news; the way debt cancellation was good news to those on the wrong side of the economy. To the young ruler who asked about a deeper discipleship path, Jesus instructs him to sell his possessions and distribute to the poor. It was an economic action that would allow him to enter the Kingdom in a deeper way. At the heart of the Lord’s Prayer was the mandate to cancel debts as we long for our own debts to be cancelled. Raw economic language in a Gospel pronouncement, discipleship instructions and our own prayer life… Jesus seemed to bring economics into the center of His conversation about salvation and the good life.
|Never in our history has there been so many rich people and so many poor people!|
The Amahoro family explored these questions together in Mombasa this May. As we are all part of God’s Kingdom, how do we understand and embody His economic policy as a strand of our discipleship? What can we learn at the intersection of theology and economics? What can we discover as we discuss best business practices in the marketplace or the employment challenges that face our communities? Can we catch God’s vision for His Kingdom economy that is shaped by grace, gratitude and provision for all? Can we even begin to imagine what that could look like if lived it out in our neighborhoods? We believe we can begin to do just that as we dream and discern together about Gospel Economics: land, labor and love.
|Muhindo (middle) from the DRC played a major role in organizing the Amahoro event in Mombasa.|
Land.If all the earth is the Lord’s, then how do we understand personal property, common land and homelessness? How do we think of stewardship of land and the power that comes with land ownership? If land is a metaphor for a home and a livelihood, as we see in the Old Testament, how do we think of homes, jobs and provision for all in our current communities?
|These Arabic ladies (very unique to Kenya) prepared traditional food.|
Labor.The work of our hands is the greatest personal resource that we contribute to our economies. It is an intimate investment, involving our sense of identity and dignity. When we work, it is not just our labor but also our very selves poured into the task. When we cannot work, it is the self that is denied participation in the economy. So how do we work? Do business leaders respect the image of God in their workers and offer safe working conditions and a fair wage? How do we think about labor and management, exploitation and respect in the workplace?
|Sharing life together!|
Love We are called to love our neighbors and to care for their well-being as ones who bear the image of God. Time and again God calls us to show compassion on the most vulnerable in the community (orphans, widows, foreigners) and to shape societies in ways that include all members of the community. Such love includes provision, justice and all manner of neighborliness. Do we advocate for justice within our economic structures? Do we demonstrate God’s deep value for each person and embody His grace in the ways we engage in our local economy? Do we make room for everyone in our economies… showing compassion and leaving no one behind?
|And the chefs proudly displayed their artwork for us to enjoy!|