By Gerry Hills, Chairperson of the Desert Southwest Conference Board of Church & Society
Scripture Reading: Proverbs: 29:7
“The righteous are concerned for the rights of the poor, the wicked does not understand such concern.”
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ― Nelson Mandela
Both quotes refer to poverty as being a man-made condition as opposed to being part of the natural order. During the next few weeks, we will explore the idea of what does it take to bring God’s love to those in need. I find myself faced with more questions than answers. What does it mean to be poor in 2020 America? How do you experience or interact the effects of poverty? Who benefits from systems that keep people poor? What does being “righteous” look like? The word righteous means to be morally right or justifiable. Jesus’ definition of what is “morally right” includes being concerned for the rights of the poor in our communities. How we treat the most down and out in our society. As people of faith, we often focus a more about righteous living that is inwardly focused. We focus and judge others on individual traits such as honesty, hard work, or faithfulness. Instead a people actively seeking social justice for all God’s people we should be spending our time focused on how our social, political. educational and economic systems trap people in intergenerational cycles of poverty. Greatness is not measured by what we own or accumulate, it is how we care for and fight for the rights of others. How can each of us bring God’s love to those who are hungry, homeless, sick or disenfranchised? What great things can we accomplish together?
Almighty God, may we be courageous servants who both speak out against injustice and show up to do the work of creating justice for all.
- Download this graphic at https://pixabay.com/photos/homeless-man-person-tramp-55492
- Find additional December devotionals at https://dscumc.org/blog/2020/12/01/where-love-lives-december-resources/
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