Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says, “Go, I wish youwell; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Loving your neighbor
What does it mean to love my neighbor? Sure I can love on those around me, those at my church, further, my colleagues (even the difficult ones) and family members (even those I only see once a year). But Jesus depicts “loving” your neighbor by meeting someone through material, physical, and economic needs through deeds. Lov-ing. A present and continuous tense that is used to express that it is ongoing and does not stop. Tim Keller, in his book, Generous Justice, writes that “caring for people’s material and economic needs is not an option for Jesus.” Meaning, that to love our neighbor requires being sacrificially involved with the vulnerable just like the Good Samaritan. Jesus uses this example of the Good Samaritan as loving our neighbor because the depiction of a Samaritan helping a Jew, in its historical and cultural context, does not have a regard for race, age, class, nor religion.
I know personally, sometimes it’s not the easiest to engage in certain events to love our neighbor (a more vulnerable person in need, in my proximity, in my community, in my neighborhood) and it is so easy to turn a blind eye, because of the myriad of things that need to be completed on our to-do lists. We have children, jobs, families, bills, health, and other stressors that equally require our time and undivided attention.
But what I know, is that despite not doing it well, this is my calling. This is what our/my dear precious Jesus requires of me/us, who are called believers, and Christians. This is our mandate to do justice. This is the same Jesus I call to when I am in joy and the same God I call to in moments of desperation. This is my Jesus, and this is what He requires of me/us.
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
So join the community of believers that get to engage in loving our neighbors. We may not start off perfectly, but may we hold one another accountable, encourage each other in our walks towards being more like Him, and never be calloused to the needs of others.
Here are some ways to demonstrate justice this upcoming quarter (tip- do it with your community/village)
10/19- Serve the People (Santa Ana)
11/5- soup kitchen (Fullerton)
11/16- Serve the People (Santa Ana)
12/3- soup kitchen (Fullerton)
December will also kick off our Be Generous campaign which will provide more opportunities to love on our group home/foster/adopted youth at Olive Crest.