Am I my brothers keeper?

posted by Rusty Guenther

“This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with action and in truth.” 1st John 3:16-18  The headline in Monday, September 10th’s USA TODAY declared, “Faith groups provide bulk of disaster relief and recovery”.  With Florida still under the gun from Hurricane Irma, the article shares that the very same groups who were first on the scene in Texas with Hurricane Harvey are already in mass throughout  the State waiting to help. It quotes everyone from the FEMA director to people being helped but the message was the same, “people of faith” have given the most in time, talent and treasure when it comes to helping those effected by the storm, and they plan to be around for the long haul. Not just helping as the disaster strikes but staying around in the weeks, months and even years to come to offer assistance. While this may shock some who like to bash and belittle Christians it should not come as a surprise to anyone who has read the Bible from which Christians find their guidance. The Church always rises up during disasters and turmoil with generosity and grace; it is a part of its DNA, its very foundation. Jesus declared to his closest followers that “the son of man did not come to be served but to serve” and the church strives to follow His example. All throughout both the Old and New Testaments; one can find a continued command and call for generosity, compassion and giving of oneself to those in need. The Church itself is called to be a refuge for those hurting, hungry, lost and struggling; the very hands and feet of Jesus Christ to our world. It is great to see those characteristics come alive during times of crisis, but I wonder what we would happen if we were just as generous, just as compassionate, just as quick to offer our time and help when there are no national disasters. If we could be just as sensitive to the needs of those in our own neighborhoods and communities that are facing disasters of their own? We should all be quick to pray for those in Texas and Florida, to give generously to Christian organizations that will help in their recovery, and to even go ourselves as volunteers but we should be just as attentive to offer the very same things to help meet the everyday needs of those in our own back yards.  “A generous person will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25