Who is the working poor?

In reading Responsive Labor: A Theology of Work (Jenson, 2006) [a full coming review soon], I am reminded of how we Christians [particularly in the west] see our work as meaning in life.  The result of this thinking many times allows us to classify those without work as less meaningful in this world.  Jenson, in discussing the working poor in the U.S., places the notion of work=meaning in the context of the Lord’s Supper.  He States,

At the Lord’s Supper, there are no working poor: all are poor standing in need of God’s grace, and all are fed abundantly when the bread is broken and the wine is poured in Christ’s name. Our work, in the end, renders us worthy of none of this abundance.

This reminded me, in the context of our current economic downturn when it is easy to look out only for ourselves, that our sufficency is in Christ and our meaning in this world is found in his graceful act of salvation which brought restoration with the Father.  Apart from this act of grace, we are all destitute and without purpose.  God sees us as his image bearers some employed, some unemployed, some wealthy, some working poor.


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