Prayer: O God, may your Word grow my wisdom and my faith, in Christ. Amen.
Cold night in the homeless shelter
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
Have you ever stayed in a homeless shelter? I guess since I have not that I envision a warm room with food and several beds. Our devotion writer paints a different picture. A picture of a warehouse like building with inefficient or in adequate heating, thin mattresses on the floor, smelling of disinfectant and stale coffee, and shared bedding, and a damp coldness that makes you miss your own bed. But what if you have not home anymore?
Our devotion writer’s experience; “I missed my nice warm bed, got no sleep, and alternated between hating the discomfort and despising my selfishness.”
So, if you were to stay in a homeless shelter now, would you consider it comfortable? A place with little heat or no A/C. How different from your home and your own bed? Don’t you feel just a little guilty like our devotion writer? You have a home, and the homeless do not.
We read in Romans the “Marks of the True Christian.” How do we apply this to our ministry to the poor and the homeless?
11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
To see for yourself, volunteer a few times to Souper Sunday’s. (Once is not enough). Volunteer for the Bridge Ministry.” Visit someone in prison.
Prayer: “Jesus, help us to be generous with our time and forfeit our own comfort to help others. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Marks of the True Christian
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.