R E F L E C T I O N S
Thoughts on nature and the Christian faith - 3/4/19
"Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison,
and did not minister to you?" Then he will answer them, saying, "Truly, I say to you, as
you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me."
- Mt. 25:44-45
After a fairly heavy snowfall, I watched this squirrel leave the tree he was in, trudge through deep snow, and climb up on a limb where I usually leave seed for the wildlife on our property. But this time I had forgotten to put out their food. I'm no expert on squirrel body language, but to me this fellow seemed to be saying to me, "O.K. mister, where's my food? I've been depending on you, and you decided to let me down on the coldest day of the year? Thanks for nothing!" Looking into his eyes, I actually felt a little guilty. But apparently I didn't feel guilty enough, because I just took his picture, retired to the warmth of my home, and did nothing to alleviate his hunger. Doing that to a squirrel is one thing. Doing that to those in need around us who are made in the image of God is quite another thing. I am struck by the emphasis scripture puts on our mandate to care for the poor. I am also struck by how little we do to obey that mandate. If your church's budget is like most churches, you will find that most of the money we take in is spent on ourselves. Jo and I have decided to funnel most of our giving to ministries that channel the bulk of their income into helping the least among us. Jesus himself has told us that what we do to those on the fringes of society we do to him. Thankfully, some churches are reallocating their finances and making outreach to those in need a priority. And thankfully more and more Christians are learning to live simply so that others may simply live. I don't want our Lord to look at me the same way this squirrel did.
Do you? - John