Exodus 22:21-27

You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.

 

If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.  Exodus 22:21-27

 

Yesterday was a busy day at Faith Lutheran Church.  Between the two morning worship services our congregation put together 500 personal care kits which were delivered to homeless people on the streets of Houston.  The Faith Chinese Fellowship met in the afternoon.  Our middle school confirmation kids and their parents spent three hours at the Holocaust Museum.  The day ended with hospital visits to a 4th grader battling leukemia and one of our senior saints who continues his struggles with some chronic health problems.

 

It was, I think, the church at its finest.

 

Also someone told me yesterday that the pope had sold his Harley.  In their telling of the story, they said that the pope had been criticized for owning such an expensive motorcycle when he calls the church to be mindful of the poor.  That wasn’t really what happened.

 

What happened was that Willie Davidson gave the bike to the pope as a gift in honor of the 110th anniversary of Harley Davidson.  His intention all along was that the bike be given away for charity.  The bike and a motorcycle jacket, both autographed by the pope, sold for $404,485 with the proceeds going to benefit a hostel and soup kitchen at the Termini train station in Rome.  Willie, the pope, and the buyers did a good thing.

 

I don’t know the pope.  I don’t have his phone number and I doubt he would take my call if I tried.  But here is what I know for sure – if you asked him who the most important people in the world are, he wouldn’t hesitate to answer, “The next person who shows up to eat at the Termini train station soup kitchen.”

 

It is that way of thinking.  And that way of being.  That is the hope of the world.

 

Let us pray:  Dear Lord, this morning we resolve to put first things first.  We pray for the eyes to see the hurting, the alien, the poor, the widow, the orphan, and to respond with compassion and care.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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5 Responses to “Exodus 22:21-27”

  1. kirk childress Says:

    A Men

  2. Sharon Boyd Says:

    AMEN! KEEP UP THE AWESOME MINISTRY! WE ARE WORKING ON IT AT BETHESDA LUTHERAN! GOD BLESS!

  3. Linda Stoetzer Says:

    How I long for a congregation committed to this kind of ministry.

  4. Carolee Groux Says:

    Jesus tell us, “The last will be first”.
    He knows best who really wins in the end. It may well be that person who shows up at the Termini train station soup kitchen in Rome. Jesus promises us “that whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted”.
    Luke 14:11

  5. Steve Leeman Says:

    Faith without works is dead. This story is a good reminder to practice what we preach.

    Thanks for the post.

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