As I scrolled through the morning headlines today, I was easily reminded of the many atrocities that are occurring around the world on a daily basis. In our tech savy world, we can get constant updates of people’s actions by a simple click of a mouse. And the more I scanned through the various news channels and newspapers websites, I wondered how many people read these articles and feel called to action, and out of these people, how many will actually act on this call.
In the Great Commission, Christ gives the disciples the command to go out to all the nations and baptize, teach, and love all people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18-20). Does that mean we are supposed to sell everything, quit our jobs, and leave our families? No, but he does call us to action. Christ teaches of the blessing of hospitality to others when he sends the 12 disciples out in Matthew 10.
In a world with so many issues – poverty, genocide, rape, war and acts of violence, illness and death, and so many more – I often hear people comment that there is just too much to fix. But is that really true? An organization called Mocha Club is based on the concept that by just giving up 2 mocha’s a month, which equals about $7, you can sustain 1 person living with AIDS, provide clean water to 7 Africans for 1 year, or save 1 person’s life from malaria. That seems pretty easy to me.
When Christ said “You will always have the poor among you” (John 12:8) he was not leaving this as an ultimate truth. He is actually referencing the directions God gave Israel, just look back to Deuteronomy 15. God moves from saying “there should be no poor among you” to “if there is a poor man” to “there will always be poor people in the land”. Why? God recognizes our ability to be greedy and tightfisted, to not share and live in community with one another. God does not create the poor and cause suffering, we create the poor and causing suffering.
One of the head advisors for Compassion International has started an initiative called “58: Fast. Forward. The End of Poverty”, which is based on Isaiah 58 (http://notalways.live58.org/). It is an alliance of churches and organization working together to end poverty in the world. Take the time to watch this video and see how possible this idea is: