21 Mar 2022 REFLECTION 4: Share With The Lord’s People Who Are In Need
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Some parts of our passage from Romans are rather abstract. For example, being “joyful in hope” might have different meanings in different seasons. And how exactly would you assess whether you are “overcoming evil with good” at any given time? This verse, however, is pretty straightforward. What do you do when you see someone who is in need? Simple! You share with them.
Simplicity, Solidarity, and Sharing are the three central themes of Rice & Beans Month. Simplicity and solidarity change our experience as participants. For the kids in East Africa who are extremely vulnerable, our act of sharing with them is what changes their experience. This verse invites us to think more deeply about these two groups of people – those who have something to share, and those who are in need.
Every year in the Sponsorship Program, the children make a small craft that is mailed to the Lahash office in Portland and sent along to their sponsor as a Christmas gift. For kids who are deeply in need, it is a chance to “switch groups” and have something to share. In order for them to see themselves as people who can make a difference in the lives of others, it’s important that they have experiences of sharing, helping, contributing, and even creating special gifts for important people in their lives.
It is equally important for people who most often see themselves as “givers” to identify their own needs and learn to receive from others. God created us as limited and finite beings and said, “Behold, it is very good.” We are created to share and give, and to need and receive. Even as we seek to share with the Lord’s people who are in need in practical and life-changing ways, it’s important for us to acknowledge what we lack. All of us fully belong in both groups, by God’s loving and intentional design.
Questions: In what ways do you have something to offer? How can you share with those in need? In what ways are you in need? How can you receive from those who have something to share?
Prayer: God of abundance, expand our understanding of what it means to give and what it means to be in need. Help us to see these categories with new eyes, recognizing that you created us to fit into both. Help us to be generous in giving and gracious in receiving, remembering that what we give is from you and what we receive is from you. Amen.
Here are a few more scriptures for further meditation on our theme for this week:
II Corinthians 8:1-15
Proverbs 11:25, 22:9