From: Rich Carlson
Date: September 17, 2020
Subject: It's September 17; Good Morning Union

“The poor you will always have with you.” Matthew 26:11

As I focus my priorities around my response to the junk in this world, rather than being consumed by my efforts to fix that which is not fixable until Jesus fixes it, I found both the reality of poverty and a response as God directed it.

My verse for today is a quote from Jesus as Judas “condemned” the woman who anointed His feet with expensive perfume, self-righteously defending himself with the idealism that the money spent on that bottle of ointment could have been better spent on the poor. (As the story expands I learn that he was the treasurer of the group and wanted the money for himself, but that’s another GMU!) For me Jesus’ answer does not eliminate my responsibility to care for the poor, but it illustrates what I am finding is a more useful application today.

I can’t stop poverty; no one ever has, and I doubt anyone ever will—except God Himself. When He wanted to end hunger for a whole civilazation He just called for manna and quail. God could do it; I cannot. Here is the Old Testament verse that Jesus was probably referring to in His response to Judas:

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” —Deuteronomy 15:11

Jesus’ response to poverty was not to ignore it or to put an end to it but to “be openhanded” and care for those who were suffering. He did not put an end to poverty, He just told the people to care for those you can. I will help the poor; but I don’t expect the whole world to be that altruistic because the world, according to what I understand from God’s Word, is in the power of Satan right now and He has no intention of releasing that power in some loving and caring way. God will take care of Him and all the problems he has cause in His time. So for now I recognize my limitations and choose to focus on caring for people so at least the people I come in contact with might see the hands and the heart of Jesus through me and receive not just food for today but hope for tomorrow. THAT’S my calling in life. I can’t save the world, that’s God’s job, and I can’t eradicate evil, that will come from God when He’s ready. But I can demonstrate His character in how I treat the ones who are suffering. I think it fits for poverty; I’m guessing it will fit for all the evil and hate, and injustice and junk in this world.

Have a great day demonstrating God’s calling in your life,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day:      “In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.” ―Eric Hoffer

PS        uGather today @ 10:35am under the Clocktower. Today’s “guest” is our very own Dr Mark Robison.

PPS      Pastor Gua will be in Campus Ministries today from 12-2 if you’d like to get a female’s pastoral perspective on life. Stop by or text her for an appointment.