Usually, and I mean most of the time, the problem is systemic. These are the larger issues the CNN piece brings out, but because they're also political hot buttons, we can't have an honest conversation about them in the church. If I mention giving people dignity through a livable wage, I'm met with arguments for or against raising the minimum hourly rate. If I want to discuss the shortfalls of public assistance, I get buzzwords like big government and welfare and personal responsibility.
What we get wrong about poverty is we treat it as an issue. Jesus saw it as people. He sat down to dinner with those affected by it, and spoke directly to the individuals causing it. He was never harsh with those caught in poverty. He was livid with those who brought it. And this is throughout Scripture.
I have a challenge for you. For the next two weeks, read Isaiah 58 as if it is the only part of the Bible you know. As if you are in a country where owning a full Bible can get you arrested, and you live on one ripped page of verses at a time. Imagine all you know of God is what you can learn from this one chapter. Sink into it. Then come back to this post on Christmas week, anytime after the 21st, and share what you've learned in the comments below. Thanks.