Thursday, August 7, 2008

Red Letters: Chapter 6 (The Sanctity of Life)

First things first. Your business if life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.
--Matthew 8:22

How does God feel about the children who are suffering? Read Psalm 139.

As Christians, what matters to Christ should matter to us. God identifies himself with the poor. In Matthew 25, He is the poor. I agree with Tom, that when we meet Jesus, we will be asked how well we took care of the orphan and the widow. It’s also a test as to whether everything we’ve heard and learned throughout our Christian life made it to our hearts…thus, making us act.

In his book, From Wild Man to Wise Man, Richard Rohr says: I would say that if you only think about Jesus, “believe” Jesus and believe things about Jesus, not much new is going to happen. It is the risk of “acting” like Jesus acted that reconfigures your soul. We are converted by new circumstances much more than by new ideas. Or as I like to say, we do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.

I don’t believe we, as Christians, will ever think differently about the world around us until we live a life the reflects the severity of the situation in the world around us. If we live like no one is starving, dying from AIDS, or living without the hope of Jesus, then we will never be compelled to do something about those things. If you walk and live with the poor, you will be moved into action. There is no way you can see, experience and touch poverty without being changed.

So back to God caring for those who are suffering. After you read Psalm 139, go and read Jeremiah 29:11-14. If I could only share one verse with the people I meet in Liberia, it would be Jeremiah 29:11. I feel like this verse embodies the Christ I know and love…He has plans to care for us, to protect us, plans to never leave us, plans to give us all a hope and a future. Most people who are living in poverty need hope…they need to know that there is a God who loves them and who has not forgotten about them. I think for most of us, we put our hopes in people or things. People who are suffering also put their hopes in people…people who will care for them, love them or will provide for them. People who live like Christ and who will share the hope that they have in Jesus. Even if it feels like it, God does not abandon us…think, I will never leave you nor forsake you. But sometimes, we need to be reminded of that by a 'physical, live and in the flesh Christ'. So, ahhumm…I’m pretty sure that’s where you and I come in!

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