Thursday, 20 October 2011

Lulled into contentment

I'm always rebuked when I look at the emphasis the Bible places on believers seeking justice for the poor and marginalised in society, rebuked because I think our sense of comfort lulls us into inactivity.  When the images come onto the TV screens what do you do?  Do you reach for the remote to turn the TV channel?  We can choose to shut out such images, we can choose comfort.

Where we live we are not often confronted with the startling reality of poverty in our nation or city or town.  Because as a society we are good at hiding away the poor, destitute and homeless.  We move them on.  Why?  Is it because they make us uncomfortable?  Because they may us discontented?

Yet the Bible reminds us that as God's people our heart is to beat as God's does for the poor.  In Exodus 23 as God establishes the Jubilee we see it is to provide for the poor.  In Lev 19 we see that God provides for the poor in not harvesting a vineyard twice and not gleaning to the edge of a field (Lev 23), in Lev 25 God specifically provides help for the poor.  Deuteronomy pleads for open handedness, or generosity to the poor.  All to be done because God has made them and given them everything they are.

Similar as we move into the New Testament it is impossible to miss Jesus teaching about the need to love our neighbour rich and poor, religious or irreligious not because giving makes us good but because we are those who were poor and destitute before God spiritually, but whom he has made rich by his grace.  As God's redeemed and dearly loved people we are liberated from possessions and living for now for living and loving as God has loved us.

Dear God save me from being lulled into contentment, give me eyes that see the needs of those around me and the resources you have lavished upon me to meet those needs I pray.

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