Lenten Thoughts

What I have found over past six decades of ministry is that when we begin to discuss caring for the poor, the needy we soon find reasons for not caring for them.  They should get off their lazy butts and get a job, like I did.  They are all con men and women.   They are just trying to take advantage of us.  If you give them a hand out, that only encourages their laziness.  The discussion leaves behind the scriptural charge to care for the poor and finds validation in our American religion of self-esteem, self-support, doing it for ourselves and looking out for No. 1.

But Scripture tells us:

Psalm 41:1-2 Happy are those who consider the poor,

The Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.

The Lord protects and keeps them alive;

They are called happy in the Land.

Once on the Great Sabbath (before the Passover) the rabbi of Ropchitz came home from the house of prayer with weary steps.  “What made you so tired’? asked his wife.  “It was the sermon,” he replied.  “I had to speak of the poor and their many needs for the coming Passover.  Unleavened bread and wine and everything else are terribly high this year.”

“And what did you accomplish with your sermon?” his wife asked.

“Half of what is needed,” he answered.  “You see, the poor are now ready to receive.  As for the other half, whether the rich are ready to give-I don’t know about that yet.”

Isaiah 58:5-9

Is not this the fast that I choose…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?

Prov. 22:2 The rich and the poor have this in common: The Lord is the maker of them all.

This is not a political statement, but God’s will.

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