What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well-fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2. 14-17)
In church this Sunday we were reminded of our duty to take care of those in need. My religion does not believe that you will get into heaven by your good deeds alone but this does not mean that they are not worthy and necessary. Our little church is struggling financially right now. We are not meeting our basic budget for survival but as our preacher pointed out this does not mean the church should hold off in sponsoring causes just because they need money too.
Our pastor reminded us that we could have been born in a different country with completely different lives. That we could be the one living in a place where our children are starving to death daily and being tortured, murdered, or made into child soldiers just because of what latitude and longitude in which they were born. And furthermore, while we are suffering and starving there are nations standing idly by watching and complaining about Christmas shopping, too many leftovers, and what we are wearing to the company Christmas party.
After service we were given the opportunity to sponsor a Hope Child from an African country. You know the ones you see on TV that you can help for just a dollar a day. Our church was given 100 children available for sponsorship and when I left yesterday 28 had been taken including the 3 the pastor took. What really broke my heart was when I was flipping through all the cards with the children's names and information and trying to decide which one to adopt I thought about my own son. What if it was Bear's name and picture there on that card and someone tossed him aside looking for a cuter kid or a more needy kid? I'll admit. I am no Mother Theresa. Not even close. I have fast forwarded on the TiVo past the children with the sad eyes and the big bellies. I don't know if it was the video the church showed or the bible versus or maybe the fact that now I am a mother but it absolutely touched me. Made me feel like a complete jerk to tell you the truth.
As you are doing your shopping, wrapping your gifts or preparing Christmas goodies for your family I hope you too will pause for a moment and realize how incredibly blessed we are. And try for that moment not to take it for granted.
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
If you are interested in sponsoring a child you can get more information at World Vision. 87% of the money you donate goes directly to the child you sponsor. You can check them out on the Better Business Bureau site if you are concerned about their motives or legitimacy. They can even do monthly withdrawls from your bank account or credit card so you don't even have to bother writing a check. And for those of you who need a little more incentive, it is tax deductible. They have children available all over the world. And if you aren't ready for the commitment of sponsoring a child with a monthly contribution you can make a one time contribution. They have it available for you to donate to buy a goat, school supplies, clothes, etc for a family in need too. They even help children here in the US if you prefer to keep your giving a little closer to home. You can even donate as a Christmas gift or in memory of someone.
God bless you.