Poverty



Scripture: Luke 16:19-31
March 5, 2015

Lazarus longed to eat the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table.  Instead, dogs would come and lick his sores. Luke 16:21

In Deuteronomy 15:11 we read “Poor persons will never disappear from the earth.”  Poverty in our world is staggering.  If I take I-10 to get to the church I get a clear view into the city of Juarez, Mexico.  There is a stark contrast between the infrastructure of the city and of El Paso.   I realize that stark contrast between the developed world and the under developed world has fluid borders.  There are parts of our own country that are underdeveloped.  Places where electric lines or water lines don’t exist.  Where access to safe clinics or groceries is beyond walking distance and the bus line just doesn’t go that far.  

Many people go on mission trips to help those in need in other cities but the reality is that we don’t have to go far to find someone in need.  The rich man in the story just needed to venture out to the gate of his property to see poor Lazarus laying there, wounded and in need.

This passage of scripture is full of contrasts between rich and poor, hungry and full, compassion and indifference, of being blessed or being in torment, and of inclusion and exclusion.  

It is a haunting tale of our responsibility to help those in need.  Caring for those in need isn’t a form of charity it is a sign of our humanity.  

We help one another out because we realize that we all at times need help.  Indifference to the pain and needs of others creates a separation between us and God.

While all Lazarus wanted was to eat the crumbs that feel from the rich man’s table, we are called to do more than put band aids on those in need while ignoring the systems that keep certain people in poverty.  

Prayer:  God open my eyes to see those in need and for your voice to be discerned in what how you are calling me to respond to their need.  Amen.

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