I think that the Lord is saying something to me about poverty this morning. My devotion from Common Prayer focused on the needs of the poor, I had a wonderful meeting this morning at church focusing on how we can serve our neighborhoods, espeically those in the most need, and then the passage for today ends with words around hope for the poor. Psalm 9 spends much of its time focusing on the deeds of the Lord, but it closes with verses 18-20 as a plea to the Lord about not letting things stay as they are. Verse 18 specifically says, “For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever.”
This morning, my devotional shared the following, “Praise to you who lift up the poor: and fill the hungry with good things.” Claiborne also shared the following, “Commenting on the activities of the early church, Roman Emperor Julian said, “The godless Galileans feed our poor in addition to their own.”
The picture today is of some of boxes of cereal that our congregation is collecting for a local agency. So far there are about 100 boxes of cereal and more to come in this week. Its not a BIG thing but it is SOMEthing. It is an act of recognizing that not everyone has the same and how we are called to share among all – just as the early church did. Steps like these are hopeful steps for thsoe who give and those who receive. Even more hopeful would be a time when it wasn’t necessary to do collections like this.
Claiborne ended his devotional today with this prayer…Let us pray.
Lord, keep us from trying to distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving poor. Help us work to alleviate suffering and injustice wherever we find it, trusting that the rest is up to you. Amen.
References taken from: Claiborne, Shane. Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (p. 54). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.