This is the last of my pre-departure reading responses. That means that at least one thing is now complete for take-off. I still have to change my address on accounts and services because when I return from Rio I will not be staying in the Chicago area. That means that I am working on two moves at once. Fun! Thanks for reading.
The Bible and what God has to say about the poor
“I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me, declares the Lord” Amos 4:6.
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” Matthew 25:34-40.
Recently I had a conversation with my spiritual mentor, a professor at Lubbock Christian University. He is redesigning his intro to missions class and planning a new Old Testament class. We discussed some of the changes he would be making to these standard courses it is was words from God, exactly what I needed to hear as I was preparing to write this reflection and put thought into action in Rio.
We discussed the grand narrative (creation through redemption) and our purpose at this point in the story. Generally our theology has been shaped by concepts of heaven and hell, physical and spiritual, and the separation of these things. I highly suspect this was not the paradigm that Moses, Abraham, Jonah, Jesus, or even Paul operated from. Through my reading, reflection, and conversations I am learning to see God as a Creator of creators redeeming His creation through us. This means that I have a role in the redemption of this world. My role has been demonstrated through the life of Christ.
Christ lived to redeem (make perfect) this world. He healed the sick, threw parties for the poor, fed the hungry, hand-selected people to love, develop, and value. That is my example and I am trying to mimic the life Christ demonstrated. That means in Brazil through prayer I will seek to have eyes open and heart softened to see the people that I can be like Jesus toward. I am not the savior and I don’t want to be misunderstood but I do believe that it is the believers’ role to redeem God’s creation until heaven is fulfilled.