"I know I had planned to stay here til I died" This statement came from a senior citizen who lived in what is now the new "Albert", a renovated high rise in Downtown Detroit that once housed seniors on social security. Now it is full of luxury apartments, and is home to young professionals moving into the downtown area. The seniors were evicted a little over a year ago. "Everyone's getting monetary value out of what's costing us our lives".
MARK 10:21-31 ....21Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ 22When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had much property.
I couldn't help but think of the former residents of the Albert when I read this story from the bible this week. This man who had "much property" had almost certainly gained it at the expense of peasants - rural farmers who were indebted and forced to give over their land to him. Jesus tells him that, to enter God's kingdom, he must give back the property he had unjustly taken.
The early followers of Jesus didn't believe in private ownership. They sold their land and possessions and distributed the earnings to all who had need (see Acts 2). Those who have power to decide Detroit's future are those that hold the land. What if the people of Detroit took the land back? What if Detroit residents decided the future of a place like The Albert, instead of corporate developers?
This week's post by John Cummings, Pastor of Grace in Action