Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Poor

Had a discussion on Sunday that I have been mulling over for the week. During our Sunday Evening Bible Study we read through Jesus' choice of about himself in Luke 4. Out of all of the Old Testament, Christ chooses this passage of scripture to refer to himself:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Luke 4:18-19, ESV

My purpose was to show that the ministry of Jesus was to be to both the Jews and Gentiles, but a good question was asked which sidetracked us from my intent: "Why didn't Jesus just say that he has come to bring good news to everyone?"
My response was, "Because Jesus came for the poor, not the rich."
"Poor in spirit." "Does Jesus mean something else by the word poor?" Were the replies. One person even quoted proverbs about the value of hard work.
Why does money cause such difficulty?
There is nothing inheritly spiritual about "being poor." And it is safe to say that there is nothing inheritly spiritual about "being rich."
Then, today I had the priviledge to attend the Chapel service during Trinity Evangelical Divinity School's "Global Christian Week."

Steve Haas, Vice President of Church Relations at World Vision, spoke and said something to the effect of... "the poor are treated as inhuman, less than human, and Jesus enters into their lives to love them and treat them as humans created in the image of God."
Jesus comes to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, the year of God's willingness to treat us a his beloved. He releases captives from their prisons because of his desire to show us that he is love. He brings the poor up form their low estate.

The rich have no need to be humanized, they already have their power.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

OED - Industrious

The OED Oxford English Dictionary, had Industrious as its "word of the day" today.

Industrious has moved from sense one:

1. Characterized by or showing intelligent or skillful work; skillful, able, clever, ingenious. (Of agents, their actions, etc.). Obs.

to sense four:

4. Characterized by or showing assiduous and steady work; full of work; diligent, laborious, hard-working. (The prevailing sense.)

A world of assiduous and laborious people does not create beauty.

Best Compliment

My son Lincoln spent the night with three other boys at friend's Birthday party / Sleep over on Saturday night. So in church the next morning our friends filled up the back row with the three extra boys they had with them. Midway through the service one of the boys turns to another and makes this comment, "You guys talk about God a lot more than we do at our church."

Best compliment I've had in a while.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I spoke on Proverbs 18 today, focusing on verse 13, "If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame."
In preparation I came across this from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love to God begins with listening to His Word, so the beginning of love for the brethren is learning to listen to them. It is God's love for us that He not only gives us His Word but also lends us His ear. So it is His work that we do for our brother when we learn to listen to him. Christians, especially ministers, so often think they must always contribute something when they are in the company of others, that this is the one service they have to render. They forget that listening can be a greater service than speaking.
Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening.
If we are the Body of Christ as St. Paul, and Casting Crowns both say we are, then shouldn't we be paying attention to what God is up to in the lives of those we are speaking with? And how can they hear what God is up to without someone preaching? And how can we gain an audience if we won't at the very least listen to them?

More on Bonhoeffer at: