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Extravagant Generosity – Love the poor and serve the needy

By September 8, 2015Extravagant Generosity

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Beyond the thoughts that Mike Slaughter is offering us in his daily devotional and the study notes we will soon be discussing in small groups we are challenged by the ideas that Pastors Curnell, Gene and Matt offer to us in their sermons. I was also challenged this week by a quote I saw posted on Facebook. Facebook is not the first place I think of to look for challenges to my spiritual growth, and Stephen Colbert is not the first person I would think to discuss Christianity with, but a quote of his caught my eye. Here is the quote attributed to Mr. Colbert:

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

I have since read more about Mr. Colbert and have found a new and inspiring faith-based dimension that I had not picked up from my limited observations of him on TV.

In the introduction to the daily devotional we are promoting as part of our church-wide study, it is stated that the goal of this study is “for all of us to ask hard questions of ourselves and be open to the possibility that God will lead us in new directions in our lives.”

In Mr. Colbert’s quote he has beaten me to the punch. In this quote there is a challenge to my personal beliefs (and actions), an implied challenge to our Christian churches and an expanded challenge to our country. We have the poor and needy, if not in Worthington and Dublin, then certainly in the Hilltop and elsewhere in our city. We read about the poor and needy in countries to the south of us wanting to work, if not live, in the United States. The news is full of stories about refugees fleeing to Europe (and dying in the process).

Where do the poor fit into the list of things we seem to value most, day to day? What does God expect of us? What do we expect of ourselves.

– Roger Blocher

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