Healthcare and the Kingdom of God

In the wee hours of the night, the GOP’s years long efforts to undo the Affordable Care Act collapsed. After weeks of debate, secrecy, and manipulation, by a slim margin, the votes weren’t there. It was a small victory for justice, that’s for sure.

But isn’t that where we find the kingdom of God? In small, unexpected, seemingly insignificant places where justice is done? Where for one small moment we can see what the world is like with God in charge, and not us? And I say “seemingly” insignificant, because even though it seems like such a small win – only a sliver of hope in a world overrun with injustice – today God’s kingdom is shining brightly like a beacon of hope: God’s “no” to oppressive powers, and God’s “yes” to justice, for all who suffer at the hands of the injustice of human powers.

…A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. (Matthew 5:14-15)

Make no mistake, the GOP efforts to repeal the ACA have never been rooted in justice. They have no interest in what’s best for everyone, and even less for people who are especially vulnerable. We must be clear: these efforts of our political powers are rooted in greed and self-centeredness. There are not even any efforts to hide their intentions: their power is being used to put more money into the pockets of the super rich at the expensive of vulnerable, oppressed people, all while trying to wash their hands of any responsibility to care for people in need.

And so when justice prevailed this morning, even just for this once, it was as if Jesus climbed that hill in Matthew, chapter 5 once again to proclaim the kingdom of God. Silently, but clearly. A kingdom that stands firmly against the unjust kingdoms of our world. One that threatens Pharaoh, Herod, and Cesar in every age with a ruler who establishes justice for all who suffer because of political elites.

And after he sat down, he began to speak, and taught them:

You who are poor, you parents who work multiple jobs and still must face difficult choices to care for yourselves with limited resources, blessed are you.

You who have no healthcare coverage, who are forced to neglect your health issues because no one comes to heal you, blessed are you.

You who are transgender, who are made in the image of God, who fear for your safety, whose hearts are broken by political attempts to deny your worth and your personhood, blessed are you.

You who can now only dream of a world in which black lives matter, living in a world where that statement could be controversial, blessed are you.

And you who resist, you who march, you who speak out, you whose heart breaks along with all those who suffer, you who persist, blessed are you.

Yours is the kingdom of God.

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