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Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Calling

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[January 25, 2010]   --"Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."-Matthew 25:40

InsuranceThis passage is at the heart of Jesus' description of the end of days in Matthew.  Jesus says that one day everyone will be brought before him for judgment and those who clothed the naked, fed the hungry, visited the prisoner and gave drink to the thirsty shall find eternal joy and those who did not, well, you can imagine what might happen to them!  I wanted to remind you of this passage today so that we might maintain our focus on the unfolding tragedy in Haiti.  I want to use that occasion to discuss the greater issue that is at the root of the powerfully tragic images that we have seen on television.  Poverty.  Jesus said the poor would always be with us and, this is true.  While this may be true, his words above remind us that we should never accept the reality of poverty.  I bring this up not to coerce you into donating money to the relief efforts there nor to make you feel guilty for your comfort or affluence.  I bring it up to remind you that, for Christians, we have an obligation to battle poverty throughout our lives and the Haitian earthquake once again exposed the foe which confronts.  Poverty exposes its victims to the worst of nature; it cripples their hope and warps their hearts and separates them from the world.  Poverty is cruel master and it holds many of our brothers and sisters in Christ in its grip.

My intent today is for us to remember how much work we have to do and take heart.  We do not have much power in Haiti at the moment; we cannot go there and we do not know anyone there.  But we do know there are poor in all of our communities.  Right here in Lincoln there are people who do not know where their next meal will come from; people who do not know if they will ever get another job or how they might pay their medical bills.  We do not need to go to Haiti to find the hungry or thirsty, we need only step outside our doors.  As we think about our task as followers of Jesus Christ we should never forget that ministry to the poor is at the fore of our calling and we should always remember that each day give us the opportunity to minister to Christ himself in the person of those in need.


Prayer:  Holy God, on this day I pray for the people of Haiti and ask that you would be present amongst them.  And I pray for the poor in my own community and I ask that you might guide me to their doorsteps that I might serve you by serving them.  I pray in the name of Jesus.  Amen.


[text from file received by Phil Blackburn,

First Presbyterian Church]


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