Friday, April 14, 2017

the moral imperative

St Hermas tells us about getting busy meeting people's needs today in A Year with the Church Fathers.

He does tell us good things about making sure that we find people's needs and meet them. And he points at the fact that we're all in this together. There is a dangerous tendency in our insular, independent western civilization to pretend that we're only responsible for ourselves, and it's up to other people to deal with their own lives. But especially as the world grows smaller through technology, we see that we're all part of one organism. We ignore the needs of others to our own detriment. And Hermas tells us that if we ignore them long enough, we will have their blood on our hands when we get to eternity.

Then he says some questionable things about "hurrying before the tower is finished", and I'm not sure where he's going with that. I mean, we do need to make sure we use the time wisely that God has given us. But Jesus did make it clear that we will always have the poor with us. So while we should make sure we act with a sense of urgency, wisdom does tell us to count the cost before we plunge in.

So the take home today is... let's look around in our lives and find those who need our help. And let's not waste time in giving them that help. Because it will come back around to our lives and either bless us or hurt us, depending on what we've done in theirs.

God, thank You for the great opportunity and privilege of helping those in need.

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