We've all done it. We've looked at the evening news, seen tragedy foreign to us and not seen the people as, well, REALLY people. We've seen that filthy homeless person with obvious mental problems and when we catch a whiff of his unwashed-for-some-time body, recoiled like he's more animalistic than human.
I read this this morning:
"In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us." Col. 3:11
He may not live in them YET, but he wants to. Just as much as He wants to live in you and me.
One of my favorite stories of love is kind of gross. One of our brothers from where we've been living the past few years saw a drunk man on his face drowning in urine. Yup, you read that right. There are places all over the city where men turn towards a wall and use it as a public urinal. One of these is the side of our local Metro stop that faces the street. There is literally a small pond of urine there all the time.
Other people saw this man choking as well, but just walked by. Our co-worker didn't hesitate but reached into the liquid and pulled him out. That's what love looks like people. Real love.
I recently found this quote that is one of the best I've ever seen about reaching out to others.
"People in the poorest countries that rely heaviest on aid are human beings—quite often, very thoughtful human beings—with equally valuable and important places at the table of God's mission in the world as anyone else......Jesus was not known as one who dished out meals to prostitutes and other vulnerable sinners. He sat with them and ate with them. Doing mission, then, probably needs to look more like a shared meal than a soup kitchen, with none of us bound in gratitude except to God alone."
-Rachel Marie Stone
That leads beautifully into this quote that Hannah put up on Facebook the other day:
I believe in Justice,
But I am not a preacher of the gospel of Justice
But the gospel of Christ who calls us to Justice
I Believe in Love
But I am not a preacher of the gospel of Love
But the gospel of Christ who calls us to Love
I Am committed to Peace
But I am not a preacher of the gospel of Peace
But the gospel of Christ who calls us to Peace
I believe in the value of the simple life
But I am not a preacher of the simple life
But the gospel of Christ that calls us to the simple life
Let us be aware of the ultimate plagiarism of borrowing some great concepts from Jesus, then running off proclaiming these concepts and not sharing the Christ that empowers these concepts.
-Myron S. Augsburger
It's all Him. Any gratitude belongs to Him, both of the receiver and the one privileged to give in His name. Any presentation of peace, love, justice, hope, freedom is hollow without pointing the way to Him and giving credit where credit is due.
Him. In us, but NOT us. No one better than the next---but infinitely valuable all the same.
"And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.........Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ." Col. 3: 17, 24