Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. [Gal.2:10]
- [LOVE] 1 John 4:19 – We love because He first loved us.
- The secret of life & love is RECEIVING God’s love for us. We must crucify our arrogantly absurd beliefs that we are ‘above charity’ and ‘better than mercy’. The plain and simple truth is that only those who have been forgiven much love much, and those who believe they’ve only needed to be forgiven little, love little (Luke 7:47).
- [MARGIN] Leviticus 19:9-10 – When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.
- Remembering the poor is inconvenient, therefore you cannot believe that the entirety of time belongs to you. Time is like property …there is such a thing as “private property” but you’re never the ultimate owner of anything, but rather you’re a steward; you’re never the Author & Perfecter of anything, but rather you’re a character in the scenes crafted by the Great Playwright, and a participant in prodigal work of a service-loving & sacrificial King! To remember the poor means to leave margin in life, and believe that there are portions of “your day” that have actually been budgeted by God for people other than you (strange people, smelly people, rough people).
- [PROVIDENCE] Read Luke 10:25-37
- Remembering the poor involves actually believing in God’s providence (i.e. there are no accidents, there’s not such thing as coincidence, and “divine appointments” aren’t a cliché thing to say, but rather they are a simple and profound reality). In Luke 10:25-37, in addition to the primary point Jesus aims to make about seeing and savoring a ‘sleazy Samaritan’ as The Hero of the story, Jesus is also inviting us into the liberty of believing that it is a divinely appointed opportunity to serve and sacrifice whenever we come across a person stripped, and beaten, and lying on the ground half dead.
- [PERSONAL] Read John 4:1-42
- John 4:1-42 re-emphasizes many of the points already made, but in this passage there is a special emphasis on the deep & deliberate personal interaction Jesus has with this ‘sleezy Samaritan spouseless stranger.’ Now is probably a good time for a reminder of the first point, the secret of life & love is RECEIVING God’s love for us. We must be the recipients of this deep, deliberate, and divine personal interaction before we ever become faithful participants and practitioners of deep deliberate personal interactions with strangers.
- [PROVISIONS] John 6:9 – There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?
- Remembering the poor doesn’t involve addressing & tackling ALL the issues and problems in the world. Remembering the poor means faithfully sharing your lunch with Jesus and watching Him do whatever He wants to do with it in the lives of strangers.
- [PLEASURE] Hebrews 13:2 – Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
- Entertaining angels! …Are you freaking kidding me! That sounds epic!
- [HOLY OBLIVION] Matthew 25:37-39 – Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
- Just like all the other things we do JUST BECAUSE WE LOVE TO – we don’t keep track of our good deeds, we don’t remembering to add “remembering the poor” to our resume. Being – first and foremost – recipients of God’s unmerited favor/divine grace, we experience the obliteration of a guilt-driven approach to & assessment of e.g. Oskar Schindler service, mercy, and justice; and we enjoy the benefits of a Holy-Spirit-induced righteous amnesia!