Thursday, June 7, 2012

The churches biggest obstacle... Apathy

I don't watch the news, I skim the paper. I take in enough to seem informed.

I don't get my heart involved...

I stay in a state of willing ignorance. I read the statistics but they are just numbers. I see the faces of starving children on tv, but they are just faces. My human mind cannot keep processing the state of the world. I know what will happen if I let go and find out what really is going on. I will break, my heart will cry out "why".

But there are times when I do let go, I become broken for the faces I saw, the children I held in my arms. It comes in waves... I see a brown baby and I am captivated. I smell something that reminds me of Africa and it takes me back there. I pick up a book on justice and my heart strings tug. "Helping the poor isn't undeserved charity. It's justice" Bono said that. He has taken up the cause of so many living with Aids. He is being proactive.

Apathy- 1.absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. 2.lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting. 3.Also, ap·a·thei·a, ap·a·thi·a Stoicism.  freedom from emotion of any kind.

I see Christians suffering from this and I do to at times. It's when we see those images that are harsh that we let guilt take over and we whip out the checkbook and write a check to the first organization we find and we breathe a sigh of relief, guilt taken care of, charity met.

 I feel a sense of doing something above the call of duty.

BUT... God continually calls us to help the needy it's all throughout scripture. God's grace and love transform and maybe that comes from guilt. God will transform us through the Holy Spirit. He will break our hearts for what breaks His. I pray often that He gives me His eyes to see with and the courage to step out in action.

You see God doesn't care about numbers ad statistics. Numbers create guilt. William, Mary, Christina, Bernard, Benidicta, Raul, Cornelious. THAT'S what God cares about. That's who God wants me to love.

Monday, June 4, 2012

When my religious activities have seemed to be a little too much about me

 "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart I have overcome the world." John 16:33

How many times have you read that verse and thought "boy that's the truth! So and so did this to me; my kids won't mind; I can't catch up on my bills.... And the list goes on and on. If we are really honest with ourselves we will find that we tend to focus a little too much on "me".  If you think about that verse it's hard not to think that it's an understatement. 

There are 1.2 billion people in the world living in extreme poverty on less than one dollar a day. 

There are nearly 30,000 children under the age of 5 dying each day of hunger and preventable diseases. 

This is a harsh and messed up world in which we live and yet we sit on our couches and think it's a great injustice when the cable goes out or the Internet isn't working.  We have MORE material wealth than any other generation in history. We are prospering. But I wonder if God is pleased with what I am doing? I'm afraid I know the answer! 

 "Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?" Isaiah 58

Feeding the poor, caring for the oppressed can be messy, hard stuff. But what if what God wants is messy not our neat, got it all together religion. God is calling His people to do something.

He is a God of hope to bring restoration to me and you and a world full of hurt. 

"You can't comfort the afflicted without afflicting the comfortable" Princess Diana

If God is stirring in you a desire to do more, to do something my prayer is that you will seek Him for what he has for your life. 

 "He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8