Bible Verse: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
Scripture Reading: Luke 10:25-42
Do you think the “good Samaritan” of Luke 10 had more or less of the abundant life after he cared for the man whom robbers accosted?
My friends are nearing “retirement.” Instead of reducing speed, they’ve decided to start a recovery ministry.
Their compelling story was catalyzed at a dinner where a pastor asked, “Do you know what the number one sin of the Western Church is?” My friends waited, and the pastor continued: “It’s that we aren’t on our knees begging God to send us those that no one else wants.”
Their ministry, New Story Community, is the latest in a long series of steps they’ve taken where they’ve come to see, know, learn from, love and serve their Indigenous neighbours. They’ve found a fuller, richer, and abundant life on this path and aren’t looking back.
Can you imagine if our churches were known as much for our longing to serve the LGBTQ+ population as for our stance on marriage being between a man and woman?
What if we longed for more people with extensive trauma, addictions, language barriers, and disabilities to be in our midst?
What if our reputation was one of loving newcomers, First Peoples, lonely seniors, and sexual offenders?
At our best, this is our story. But we’re not always at our best, are we?
If this became more true, our churches would be messier — and more full of Jesus’ abundant life.
If we see these communities, we often assume they need us more than we need them. We condescend and patronize. When this is our attitude, we’ve misunderstood Jesus’ words, and we need to repent. Jesus calls us to follow Him into the abundant life of God’s Kingdom, which is married to His call to live closely with the least of these (Matthew 25:31-46).
I’ll let Brian Sanders have the last word today:
“People who rush to work among the marginalized because they have heard a call to martyrdom do not last. It is the ones who come in search of the fullness of life, the grace of God, and the face of Christ Jesus who make it. We find these gifts in abundance in the place of mission.” (Underground Church)
Prayer: Lord, help me to see, help me to love, and prepare me to receive. Lead me out of my comfort zone and into Your presence among the least of these in my midst. Lead us all into Your abundant life together.
Reflection: Who are “the least of these” you’re in proximity to? Ask God to open your eyes and show you the next step in building relationships with them. Ask God to show you how you can serve and receive from them.
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