Monday, February 7, 2011

How much do you think the most expensive house in the world is worth? How about just short of 2 billion dollars! And where do you think it’s found? How about Mumbai, India.

Completed this January, it encloses 400,000 square feet of interior space, rises 550 feet high above the Mumbai skyline, and is built above six floors of parking for staff and visitors. Facilities include ballroom, health floor with swimming pool, entertainment floor with theatre, outdoor gardens and entertaining levels at the top floors with views over the Arabian Sea.

The huge spaces and opulent finishes contrast vividly with the slums and ghettos to be found in Mumbai and all large Indian cities. Even the attached picture juxtaposes it against a poor neighbourhood.

Opulence anywhere is in strict contrast also to Jesus Christ Himself whose credentials could have provided Him with the richest environment. But He who was rich, for [our] sakes He became poor, so that [we] through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9).

This is contrast is particularly true of the Church and its self-proclaimed leaders that represent him to the world. So many have accumulated fortunes in His name denying principles Christ exhibited; even preaching that affluence is the reward and mark of spirituality.

The tragedy here is that elaborate vestments, ceremonies, and liturgies insulate people from a true picture of Jesus Christ. He spent His time with the poor and social outcasts of his day. His primary audience was the common people, although not restricted to them.

But looking at the obvious purveyors of “Christian” affluence, begs the question whether our lifestyle shields us from those that Jesus would have spent time with. Do we have the love that overcomes our discomfort zones?

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