Having a Heart for the Poor

Proverbs 21: 13 If you stop your ears to the cries of the poor, your cries will go unheard, unanswered.

Proverbs 22: 2 The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all.

Proverbs 22: 22-23 Don't walk on the poor just because they're poor, and don't use your position to crush the weak. Because God will come to their defense; the life you took, he'll take from you and give back to them.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Grace, peace and love to you in Jesus name.

It is my hope that you have taken the time to read and meditate on the sacred words found in the book of Proverbs during the month of July. With 31 chapters in Proverbs, months which contain 31 days are the perfect moment to read these deep and divine words.

Although I have read Proverbs countless times, I am always thankful I gain a new insight or deeper understanding then I had before. For this go around, I have especially noticed the deep compassion and concern the writer has for the poor.

How do we treat the poor in our community of faith by our words and deeds? How are we to speak about and address the reality of poverty? Many of us would prefer to rub elbows with a person who has wealth than to share a pew or seat with someone who is poor.

Clearly, God has a heart for those who are hurt, struggling and in great need in our midst. Instead of demonizing and labeling people who are poor, we need to humanize and love the poor in our nation and world.

We also must not glamorize poverty and pacify our sisters and brothers as if their condition brings them closer to God or they will have a greater reward in heaven. There is nothing glamorous about hunger, homelessness or having little to no access to education, health care, nutrition, transportation, credit or a clean living environment.

Wisdom points us to have compassion, concern and a conscience for those living in poverty in God's creation. We must look for ways to respond with acts of charity which meets the immediate need of our sisters and brothers before us and works of justice which perpetuate cycles of poverty for generation after generation.

Let our hearts be like God's heart. Let us have a heart for those in great need in our world.

Love, Pastor G

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