Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday the First Week of Lent

Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.  -- Matthew 25:46
This is verse is part of the larger passage (Matt. 25: 31-46) of separating sheep from goats and emphasizing that the way we treat the less fortunate is the way we treat Jesus.  It has frequently shown up in various ways on social media as a not-so-subtle message that U.S. border policies are not measuring up to the standard. While that is sure to set up a debate steeped in political wrangling, there are a couple of points that should be considered.  

First, in Jesus day the weight of caring for the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick, or in prison was not a task the government(s) felt any compunction to handle.  So, the government's approach should come as no surprise.  The Realm of God doesn't depend on government spending or taxation to bring it about.  Perhaps some of the insensitivity and even hostility directed at the less fortunate is a direct result of the Church's surrender of it's compassionate servant power to secular governmental welfare? 

Second, as the environment continues its downward spiral through lack of international cooperation the world will know millions more in all of the less fortunate categories.  Homes are already being lost to wildfires, hurricanes, rising seas. As this is being written, it's not lost on me how the anxiety level rises just mentioning it all.

What can we do?  This most important principle to hang onto as spiritual sojourners is just do your best. God knows our puniness and does not expect us to be Saviors or even be successful.  Just do your best.  Sweep your own porch - offer care where you can in whatever way(s) you feel drawn and called to plug into the great project of "Making A Difference."  There are tens of thousands of ways that we each can bring an uplifting, kinder, gentler presence to the throngs around us.  Nearly everyone has been, is, or will be in need of such a presence. Offering it, in the best way you can, is the essence of community.  It will be the world-wide community that stands in the way of Jesus and brings hope to all.

Questions for journaling or discussion:

  1. When did you feel in a "less fortunate" space?  Did a community of people surround you, or did you pull yourself out of it?
  2. What situation or who were you a friend to this week?
  3. An early possible beginning point is always praying.  Who might you invite to pray with you to hear the call in addressing any needs you know about?

Great Spirit of grace and influence, instill within us the heart for those less fortunate, and if we are the ones in need shower us with abounding love from others.  Amen.  

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