Thursday, November 21, 2013


As a young kid and then a young man, my intentions were to have little to do with God or church.  I was the two-times-a-year in attendance guy with wishful urges of intending to do better.  But church just wasn't my thing.

However....things have changed....drastically.  I am so wowed by God and church that I seem to possess some sort of endless energy to keep pressing forward.  Ah, could this be due to the active Holy Spirit of God?

I see a simple reason as to why some churches struggle to stay alive while others are enamored with enthusiastic opportunities.  Surely there are many factors.  I dare to point out one that I believe would reside at the top of the list.  I speak of a deep love for the poor.

His greatest command is to love God and to love others.  I am not certain I am correct, but it seems to me that one cannot love God without loving the poor; though many churches seem to try.  Yes, it could be that because some fail to be enthralled with God these easily brush aside the poor.  Either way, the love of both God and the poor are intricately entwined.

Churches which claim to love God but not the poor are in denial.  Those deprived and pitiable whom some might regard as marginal are magnificently being noted as valued by our attentive Lord.  That Jesus would choose to be baptized by the unorthodox, with no social standing, John the Baptist is an intentional hint from heaven.

That Jesus' very first sermon began with the words Blessed are the poor in spirit should arouse our attention.

It seems to me that churches are intensely motivated when there is a hunger and thirst for the Great Command. When we love God and treasure others--especially the neglected and depressed--there is something of authentic life immediately in the midst.  Oddly, in our wealthy American state there is a presence of lethal boredom that wreaks havoc from the rural all the way to the urban.

The solution to the world's problems?  Love God and love people.

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