Our Greatest Need

I have  been reading and studying some material to prepare a six-week series of sermons on social justice from a bibilcal perspective. Here are a couple of paragraphs of what I read today. I think these paragraphs are excellent. What do you think:

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“For many, the solution to our problems is the preaching of the Word – renewal through evangelism. For others, it is the filling by the Holy Spirit – renewal through charismatic gifts. For some, it is service to the poor and political action on behalf of justice. And for others, it is acts of resistance to the power and violence of the state. All of the answers are right. Each speaks to a glaring lack in the church’s life, and each contributes to a fuller understanding of what the church is meant to be in the world. But all of the answers are inadequate.

The greatest need in our time is not simply for kerygma, the preaching of the gospel; nor for diakonia, service on behalf of justice; nor for charisma, the experience of the Spirit’s gifts; nor even for propheteia, the challenging of the king. The greatest need of our time is for koinonia, the call simply to be the church, to love one another, and to offer our lives for the sake of the world. The creation of living, breathing, loving communities of faith at the local church level is the foundation of all the other answers. The community of faith incarnates a whole new order, offers a visible and concrete alternative, and issues a basic challenge t othe world as it is. The church must be called to be the church, to rebuild the kind of community that gives substance to the claims of faith.”

– Jim Wallis, The Call to Conversion

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Who Are the Poor? (part 2)

I have another blog that deals solely with social justice issues. It is http://www.floodsofjustice.wordpress.com. Check it out, especially the two part series on the question, “Who are the poor?”

Who Are the Poor? (part 2).

Thought for Today

Over and over again in the Bible (especially the Old Testament) God’s people are told to watch over and care for the vulnerable. Who are the vulnerable? God’s Word categorizes them into four groups of people:

widows

orphans

immigrants, and

poor

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the immigrant or the poor.” (Zechariah 7:10-11)

In his book, “Generous Justice,” Timothy Keller writes, “In premodern, agrarian societies, these four groups had no social power…today this quartet would be expanded to include the refugee, the migrant worker, the homeless, and many single parents and elderly people.”

As you prepare your heart for worship this morning ask yourself, “Am I looking out for, or over looking, the vulnerable people around me?”

Another important question would be, “Where does taking care of the vulnerable rank on the list of my church’s priorities?”

Just a thought.