Thursday, March 12, 2009
Living in the Story - Lent #14, 2009
"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony." (Luke 16)
This is Jesus, telling the story of Lazurus and the rich man.
Just yesterday I was walking along a river path with a friend. That friend is reading a book by a prominent "tele-vangelist" and he mentioned someone warning him to not tell me. I guess I have a reputation for dis-liking this certain TV preacher...well I know I do, I have been quite outspoken on the subject. The opulence of some ministers does irk me and I suppose I've been a bit too vocal about it.
Two years ago, I went along on a mission to Mexico with a local church group. Our main objective was to build a new house for a struggling family with YWAM's "Homes of Hope" project. The house was about the size of my living room with less furniture than my living room. It was a clean, well built, two room, tiny little home. Compared to what this family had been living in, it was a palace.
On the last day, the family moved in. One of the missionaries there had spent time with this single mother and her whole house received the gospel with joy! There were tears and hugs and photos all around. She now felt like a queen in her shack, on the dusty hillside of a slum in Mexico.
If that woman were to be able to see the house I come from, then I am the tele-vangelist. Notice, Jesus doesn't condemn the rich man for his wealth (of course he also does not have kind things to say about people that aquire wealth through religious manipulation or other dodgy means)...he condemned him for not sharing.
Who is outside my lavish gates that I could invite in? Is there something I can give up so that others can receive? There are so many massive needs in the world, how can I do my part? Is there a way I can live simpler? Can I share a meal with someone? Can I share my time with someone?
Looking for a worthy cause? Try HERE Or HERE Or HERE (it's better on facebook to go HERE) Or HERE Or HERE Or HERE Or HERE Or HERE
There are so many ways we can give and invite others in to our lives. It's about way more than just money, it's about presence, connection and sharing real things...it's about relationship. As much as we want to get out of it, we must lay down our life for others. This has to go beyond words and into reality.