Is the world our parish or not? I think we are good at our neighborhood being our parish or the county sort of being our parish, but the world? My goodness, the state is too big for us most of the time.
I know that the need is great right outside the doors of our sanctuary, but we cannot allow this to place blinders on us. There are people near and far who need to be loved and to be cherished as holy and beloved children of the Living God, but we only see those in our pews or, at least, at the Starbucks. Hunger, thirst, imprisonment, war, disappointment, persecution, murder, sexual trafficking, child abuse, and so much more are out of our sight, and often therefore unfortunately out of our mind and heart.
I was blessed this past Sunday to hear Hind Khoury a Palestinian Christian, share her testimony and her story of living in a land where she is not allowed to be a citizen, but only a resident even though she was born there. Many of her fellow "residents" are not allowed to be married; those who live beyond the wall and the children born of "mixed" marriages are not even registered and have no identity. Next door in Syria, ISIS is beheading men, women, and even children due to a fanaticism that is beyond understanding .
What can we do as Christians? What can we do as United Methodist who follow not only the teaching of Jesus Christ, but also the words of John Wesley? The world is our parish or it is not our parish; we can't have it both ways. I am convicted by what I heard, and I am grieved that such disrespect for humanity still exists.
I'm not saying we are not trying or that we are not doing enough, but it is all so overwhelming. What can we do?
We are the Church of Jesus Christ, the Body of Christ. This must push us to remember that we must share with all the blessings we have been given by God's hand. We must never hold, save up, keep for a raining day that which belonged to God, and was shared to us. We are called to be a sharing people, so that others might experience help in time of need and trouble.
I guess if we start at home and allow our hearts to be broken for those beyond the local parish, we might begin to do something to empower the parish for all living, the parish of the world. Please share what you have that others might find life on the dusty road of humanity.
Grace and peace and the love of Jesus,
It is Risky Business to open our eyes and hearts to the mission of Christ's church to reach the whole world with God's grace. Come join us as we spend a daylearning how to understand and to grow into our own roles in Christ's mission. Click here for more information and to register for the Atlanta Emory District's 2015 Leadership Academy on October 24th.