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Simple Living #4 Meanwhile in a corner of the room March 10, 2015

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.
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What can you remember of the most recent disaster appeal on TV, or documentary on the plight of others?

Luke 16:19-31

19“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.23In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.24So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30“ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”

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However much I do to help the poor I know I do less than I could.

I don’t often buy the Big Issue and I don’t give to every good cause. I buy from Oxfam and other charity shops but I still like to be sure I’ve got a bargain.

My church giving is done by standing order and Gift Aided so that they get the tax back. I also give to mission. Am I better than the rich man?

Jesus doesn’t say rich man didn’t pay his temple tax. He may have supported some worthy causes and considered that he was doing his bit for the community in that way. But, here was someone in need right at his gate and the rich man did nothing.

It might have been that the rich man simply chose not to see and chose not to care. It is easy to tune out.

Every day the TV brings the poor and the homeless into my living room. I’ve learned how to watch aids orphans and war widows without it affecting me. Sometimes I realise how much more the churches could do, and what a difference I could make if I gave a bit more, prayed a bit longer, and shouted a bit louder. I try not to feel guilty but it does make me feel uncomfortable.

Respond

You cannot give to everything. Give to something. Thank God for what he has given to you and ask him to guide you in some planned regular giving. Pray that you will not be immune to other peoples suffering.


If the title to this blog post seems a little out of date to some of you it is because this has been a reprint of some Bible Study notes I wrote in 2001, when people watched TV on TV’s. There are no shortage of documentaries about good responses to bad situations but here’s one more worth downloading http://www.americanbible.org/hope-rising

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1. Simple Living Study #5, #6 Joy, Rest, and some other bits | Pete, Jennifer & Joel - March 12, 2015

[…] Day 4: Meanwhile in a corner of the room […]

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