Ministry WITH the Poor
Scriptures, Reflections, & Prayers for Faith UMC’s Mission & Vision
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to (with) the poor…” Luke 4:18
Last month our attention was elevated to the importance of ministry WITH as opposed to TO. Here we, disciples of Jesus at Faith UMC, continue to move upward and outward in service to the kingdom of God through head, heart and hands…
Disciples of Jesus are all called to be ministers WITH the poor. As such, disciples are called not only to be prophets, liberators, healers, equalizers, and justice-makers, but also to be hospitable and caring brothers and sisters in Christ, who break bread with one another, nurture community, and work together to make this world a place of justice, mercy, and love. (Romans 12:13).
Jesus explicitly told us “the Way” to do this: each person must love and treat others as he or she would want to be treated (Matthew 22: 35-40). Jesus also modeled how to be in ministry WITH one another, including those who are widows, orphans, little children, prisoners, homeless, outcast, living in a foreign land, sick and disabled, in debt, oppressed, an occupying soldier, and even our enemies. We are called especially to be in ministry WITH society’s most marginalized, “the least of these” (Matthew 25: 45), WITH whom Jesus equated himself. Jesus showed us that ministry WITH means being WITH – being a caring presence, being in loving relationship, standing with, standing in the shoes of, being in solidarity, listening to, learning from, caring about, and respectfully responding to others as we would have them respond to us.
In accepting the call to be in the service of God’s Kingdom of love and justice, disciples of Jesus strive to transcend boundaries that divide people from one another and embrace the call to overcome the us/them, self/other dichotomies that humans have created and perpetuated: the divisions between “haves” and “have not’s,” rich and poor, superior and inferior, and empowered and marginalized.
Transcending boundaries and living “in ministry with” others requires intentionality and does not happen automatically. Living out one’s faith in this manner means taking on the attitude of Christ Jesus. As we come to the season of Lent we will be learning how it is that we are called to reveal the hope that shows up in loving service WITH the poor as we look toward the hope revealed in a God who comes to us, dwells WITH us, dies our death and is raised to new and eternal life inviting us to follow along.
Peace and challenge on the journey with Jesus.
How is God calling you to share the Good News WITH others?
February Prayer Focus: “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
He (Jesus) replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.
Prayer: Anointing God, equip and empower Faith’s Mission Ministries to share your
love in the WITH others. Amen.
Check out this Ministry WITH the Poor video —http://www.ministrywith.org/index.html