Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Wednesday - the poor

Prayer:  Great God  as others write their New Year’s  Resolutions  may we write Your Holy Scriptures upon our hearts.  Help us to focus our lives and our hearts on Your teachings.  Open our minds and hearts  to the understanding of the Holy Scriptures and  to share this Good News with our family and friends and neighbours.     For Yours is the Kingdom.  Amen.

Read  St. Luke  6:  20

These next few days,  we will be concentrating on the teachings of Jesus.   Frequently these teachings are called “the Beatitudes”.     Each day we will read and reflect on one teaching.

“Blessed are you who are poor, for  yours is the kingdom of God.”  (NIV - Zondervan)

The poor.    In Matthew’s  Gospel,  the “poor” meant those who were humble and pious.  In Luke’s  Gospel,  the “poor”  means just that… those who are economically disadvantaged.   For the poor in Luke’s  Gospel,  they will no longer be shoved aside.  The poor are within God’s  love and compassion.    Yet,  we still have the poor with us this day?   Did God not fulfil the promise in this reading?     Not at all,   Jesus is teaching that those who are poor are blessed…. those who are not poor are to open up their resources and help those who are poor to rise out of their poverty and they too will be a blessing.

Within the Presbyterian Church in Canada,  we have Presbyterian World Service and Development.   The purpose of this agency is to help those who are poor and in need to make a positive change in their lives and their community.

A few years ago at Sherwood Park Presbyterian Church,  the Breakfast Bible Study Group were trying to answer the question of how does one help the poor.   There are poor outside our door in our community,  there are poor in our Provinces,  there are poor all over the world.    The need to help everyone became overwhelming and discouraging for this   Bible Study group.    Their question was “How do we help everyone and does it always involve just money?”  The answer is we can’t help everyone but spend time in prayer and ask God where is the greatest need where God sees that you  can help.     Remember that helping the poor first is not giving money but giving of ourselves and our talents.    

The Wise Men brought gifts to the Infant Christ.    The gifts were not Dollar Store gifts but gifts that were well thought out and pinched the Wise Men’s  pocket books.   Ask yourself,    do I too have as generous a heart for others?   This day,  ask God where is the greatest need so that God may use our gifts and talents to help change the world into a world of peace and justice and love.  

Prayer:  Merciful and Loving God,  remind us anew to remember the needs of those who are poor in mind,  soul, and body.    Provide through us the healing that they need to be made one in Your love and joy and peace.    Great God,  we ask You to show us where we may use our gifts and talents this day so that we can help to change the world into a world of peace and justice and love.   In the name of Our Saviour. Amen.

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