In part one, we went over the importance of humanity to us as Christians who make up the church and our responsibility to share our blessings with those around us. There is no eternal value in storing up treasures here on earth; heaven should be our ultimate goal. The key to this is what we invest our time and money on here
Looking at the church as an organisation, we need to review the focus of our programmes and activities to be in line with God wants.
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”(James 1:27 (KJV))
“External religious worship (religion as it is expressed in outward acts) that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world” (James 1: 27 (AMP)
It is so easy for our focus to be on regular donations or offerings from members, events, society anniversaries, or building projects and not on making a difference in the lives of the broken, helpless or needy. We can’t boast of being successful as a church when those around us are left to wallow in despair.
Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan? The Priest and the Levite both refused to help a man who was robbed, stripped, wounded and left to die by the way side. In fact, the priest may have been on his way to the synagogue that morning and did not want to be late for the Sabbath service. Perhaps the Levite was meant to lead worship that morning and had thought, ‘If I wait to help this man, I will most likely be late.’ ‘Legitimate excuses’ you may say, but in Jesus’ book, no excuse is valid enough when you turn the other eye on those who need help. It was a Samaritan who saw him; had compassion on him and exhibited God’s love by cleaning him up, treating his wounds, and ensuring he was adequately cared for. The Samaritan was the farthest from him by relationship but the closest to him by love, compassion and care: sheer humanity.
We cannot lay claim to the fact that we are true Christians if we do not cater for the needs of others. The English translation of a very popular Yoruba song says, ‘Your neighbour is that person around you whom you are in a position to help. Take care of him.’
It’s high time we take up our responsibility as a church and focus on what is truly important. Helping others has nothing to do with their faith but everything to do with our Christianity.