“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. Mark 12:32-34
I find it amazing that a teacher of the law after questioning Jesus, who then gives the basics of our faith as an answer, is then silenced and doesn’t question Jesus anymore. Not just him but no one else did. These guys knew the law inside and out and would lord it over people that they knew it all and followed it. Yet when presented with the basics of faith they are silenced.
Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in the extra stuff that we forget the basics. We get so wrapped up in our rights and our feelings but it isn’t about us. It is about loving God and loving others.
We need to get back to the basics and learn who our neighbor really is and start loving them. Jesus calls us to love the least of these.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” Matthew 25:34-40
I know one of those places with the “least of these” is in Haiti and that is why I will be going there for my fifth time this March. Even while the poverty of Haiti makes them the “least of these” the irony is that the Haitians teach me so much about strength and resiliency that we Americans can learn from. In some ways, I feel like the “least of these” when I am there because of what they are showing me.
God, thank you for the opportunity I have to serve the people of Haiti and give them clothing and food. I pray that as I go back again this year that you would continue to break my heart and show me how I can continue to better serve my neighbors not just in Haiti but in my own community as well. Amen.
If you would like to help with the cost of my trip you can go online to https://hittheriver.churchcenter.com/giving/to/haiti-2018-porter-family.