12 February 2007

Eradicate Poverty

Today I met with a small group of college students at the Denton Wesley Foundation to talk about Tony Campolo's new book, Everybody Wants to Change the World. My devotional time this morning brought this verse and these thoughts. Praise God!

"Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God." (Lev 19.10, TNIV)

When did profit become more important than protecting humanity? When did making a buck begin to supercede saving a life? It seems that God's provisions and instructions are clear enough so that we can create a sustainable economy.

Why did we stop caring for the less fortunate? Why does it take a government program to feed people in this country when the body of Christ should be on the front lines? If we all just followed the guidelines set out for a healthy world, then hungry people would be fed, sick people would get medicine, and homeless people would have a roof to call their own.

This doesn't seem all that hard. I can go without a $4 mocha each week. I can buy smaller portions of food. I can cook more meals at home. I can do my part to share what I have been blessed with in order to bless those who have not. If every Christian consciously took the time to understand more about what we can do to combat poverty, then we could make major changes around the world.

I need to preach this message to as many people as possible. I need to make sure that those around me are consciously aware of what they can do to combat poverty in our world, our neighborhoods, and across the globe.

Jesus, you love everyone - even those who have too much. I pray that you can take this spark and fan it into a flame that spreads throughout the Christian church. We, as Christians, need to respond to the plight of the poor with dollars, bodies, and fresh ideas - give us those resources O God, and allow us to spread you love. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Anonymous said...

The crux of my struggle with suburban congregations: The TMUMC pastors are gifted enough to minister to "those who have too much," but I'm still stuck in the church paradigm of outreach to those needing the fallen grapes while gritting my teeth at the selfish vintners cloaked as Christians.

So many opportunities to share in our daily lives. . . If each TMUMC kid would give up even an order of fries per week (or more during Lent) and put that $ in a jar while in the drive-through. . . It would have to be that concrete for the younger ones to grasp.

And re Dean's earlier comments on integration of an established denomination with creativity and here-and-now: I thank the Trietsch pastors and staff for their awesome execution of the mission statement-- biblically based, culturally relevant. . .

Bless you,
Peach A. See

Rev_DeanL said...

Indeed there are quite a few "selfish vinters cloaked as Christians" in this world - and even at Trietsch, but that cannot stop Christians who have a passion for following Christ's command to take care of "the least of these" on a daily basis.

Those who understand the deep need faced each day by the poor must do their best to educate and activate those who don't understand. I like your idea about sacrificing the french fries for kids (and adults as necessary). To that end, Trietsch will be offering a Lenten Sacrifice Calendar for 2007. It will include scripture to read and ways to sacrifice each day in order to better understand what Christ did for us on the cross.


Rev_DeanL said...

To your latter comment...
The pastors and staff at Trietsch try very hard to make sure that the programming we offer is biblically based and culturally relevant. It is not easy, but we know that reaching the next generation for Christ requires hard work and innovative thinking.