Saturday, October 13, 2007

Needed: Harvest Workers

Something to ponder... according to Jim Wallis in "God's Politics" one billion people in our world live on less than a dollar a day and three billion live on less than two dollars a day. Every day, around the world, 30,000 children die from entirely preventable causes like lack of clean drinking water.

These numbers are numbing and so overwhelming that we are tempted to dismiss them with an unbelieving shrug of the shoulders. This kind of disaster is so alien to our experience of reality and our daily struggle to get what we want out of life. We don't have time for this, besides what can we do anyway.

Surely there are reasons why these people struggle as they do. At least this is what we like to tell ourselves to keep any sense of responsibility in check. And, no, I am not suggesting that we are to blame for all the troubles in the world, that is too simplistic. But I do think that we should care enough to try and do what we can to correct these injustices both here and in other parts of the world. I know there are no simple answers and ultimately we need a new heavens and earth but still we should do what we can.

Christianity, no matter how theologically orthodox, that merely feeds itself with conference after conference, song after song, book after book, sermon after sermon becomes obese and useless, it makes majors out of minors, and fails to value what is truly important in the eyes of God. What is desperately needed is a Christianity that seeks to minister the love and mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ. If we merely 'circle the wagons' and take care of our own needs like selfish children we will be unable to impact our place in history as we should.

We need to stop talking about the gospel and what has been done in days gone by and start bringing the gospel to those who need it most before our time on earth is over. We need to meditate on what Matthew tells us in his gospel: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harrassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field'" (9:36-38).

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