“Learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.”
- Isaiah 1:17
“The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” - Matthew 23:11-12
When we hear the word 'worship,' more often than not we don’t think of serving the poor or freeing the oppressed. We know these are things we should do because it is mentioned in the Bible, but God calls us to worship him by serving others as well.
Over spring break I had the life-changing opportunity to be submersed in the inner city of St. Louis, Missouri. Within this week God turned my whole world inside out and I realized that thus far my views of this world had been distorted. Each day I worked with a man named Jim, a master carpenter who has given up a comfortable lifestyle to be a missionary in the inner city. I learned more about life and service to others than any professor could ever teach me. His business is placed in a predominately African American community where the average life expectancy for males is 21-23 years of age; it is here that he offers hope to a community where there is none. His life is lived in service to those around him.
I slowly began to realize that the things I possess are so meaningless and useless. As middle class Americans we often get so caught up in having the good job, a nice house, and fancy new gadgets; we want a comfortable life. But what are all of these things good for when our life is but a vapor? I now see that others would be so much happier with the things I have. By the end of spring break, half of the money I brought with me ended up in the hands of two homeless men we passed on the road, Scott and Jay. However, for us it wasn’t enough to just hand them money and be on our way. God calls us to a relationship with others and desires for us to love our neighbors, whether they are rich or poor. Scott and Jay are now in my prayers and I can only pray that our simple acts of kindness were able to give them hope.
Let us all be encouraged to take the time to find out what can be done to help serve others in the areas in which we live. God has asked us, his disciples, to share our food with the hungry, give shelter to the homeless, and give clothes to those who need them. But this shouldn’t be done by just donating money to shelters and dropping clothes off at Goodwill. My hope is that we all can become active in this by inviting the homeless into our homes for dinner, emptying our wallets for the people experiencing homelessness on the side of the road, or stopping to buy food for the hungry. God promises blessings to those who serve the ones in need. If we decide that we are the ones to make a difference, then one by one we can change the world.