Sunday’s Leftovers

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Artwork courtesy of 7 yr. old Holden Schneider, who illustrated my 9:30 sermon about orphans, widows (he drew a black widow spider) and resident aliens (not the kind with 10 eyes). I must have also mentioned slaves and swords at some point!

With inspiration from my wife and my mother-in-law, I want to start sharing a few thoughts that almost made it into Sunday’s sermon.  There are always ideas that I don’t have time to share or forget to share or don’t think to share until 12:01 on Sunday.  I hope you find this weekly series helpful!

I shared early in the message (listen to the full message here) that the Bible is full of passages that describe God’s love and care for the most vulnerable groups in society.  It was hard to narrow it down (if you can call 6 passages narrowing it down!) because there are so many powerful examples of God’s compassion toward those in need.  So here’s my favorite passage that just missed the cut:

Isaiah 58:6-9

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

What a rich description of the life of faith to which God is calling us!    As God calls His exiled people to renewed faithfulness, he doesn’t give them tips on a more effective style of worship or a more relevant bible study.  Instead, God asks His people to open their eyes and hearts to the suffering, hungry, homeless and naked.  God’s plan to care for these vulnerable groups was Israel- His chosen people!  He blessed Israel so that they could bless all the families of the earth, and as followers of Jesus, we inherit this invitation to love well.  And it’s in loving well that we draw closer to our Light, Healer, Vindicator, Protector and Savior (vs. 8-9).  How fascinating that our care for those who are vulnerable leads to a fuller, richer experience of God’s presence!

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