Money isn’t Real

One of my common refrains goes something like this: “Money isn’t real! It’s all made up and imaginary!”

In point of fact, this is true to an extent. The United States and most other nations abandoned the gold standard over the course of the 20th century, severing money from any sort of physical or material value. With the advent of the computer age, even coins and paper money are becoming obsolete. Money, for all intents and purposes, is a fantasy that floats around inside of electronic brains.

Practically, however, I recognize that money holds very real power. Humans everywhere spend their lives in pursuit of making enough money just to survive. Some few manage to hold onto enough to “thrive.” A very select few are so enormously wealthy, and control so many other forms of power, that money quite literally becomes value-less to them. Whereas I might do any number of things if offered a million dollars, someone like Warren Buffett is actively working to give billions away. Read more

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Third Sunday After Epiphany
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Psalm 62
Mark 1:14-20

By Grace Hackney

My husband and I do not normally worship at Duke Chapel, but after the events of the previous week, we felt compelled to go last Sunday. We needed a “word” following the cancellation of the Muslim call to worship scheduled for the previous Friday from the top of the Chapel’s tower. It had been a challenging week, with this news following on the heels of the Charlie Hebdo massacre and resultant reactions.

With security guards sprinkled throughout the Chapel, Dean Luke Powery began worship by reading a pastoral letter regarding the recent week’s drama to the congregation. He promised that “the Chapel would seek opportunities for constructive dialogue about these complex and important subjects as we all strive for deeper understanding and greater faithfulness to God.”

It was the second week after The Epiphany, the day preceding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Powery artfully wove together God’s call to young Samuel with King’s call to pour out his heart to God”– both of which would result in prophetic action. As Lowery reminded us, “prayerful listening leads to prophetic proclaiming.” Read more