There is a very famous group of people that we read all about all throughout the Bible. These people are the poor, the widow and the foreigner. They are found throughout the Scriptures and they are all around us today. I once heard a Brazilian Politician say that it is shocking how the Church insists to talk about what is not in the Bible and forgets what is a major theme in the Book. Well, is it possible that this notorious group of outcasts and rejected people are no longer important to us? I strongly doubt that, even though historically this is the path we have followed.
For centuries the Church of Jesus Christ has believed a lie! We have believed that the Government is responsible to care for the poor, the widow, the foreigner and the prostitute, and that the Church is responsible for the spiritual needs of people. This progression and tension between Church and State resulted in different understanding of what God had asked His people to do. The separation we have now is not a question of power and authority, but of love and mission.
In Brazil, we see a fallen social assistance system. There are great laws in place and there are serious actions taking place. However, the dynamic we see here will not change Brazil. God has a powerful declaration over us that we are to make disciples of all nations. Making disciples is the one thing you will not do on Sundays at church. The mandate of discipleship is an invasion of love and an embrace of purpose. It is a spiritual lifestyle, in the mode of the fast found in Isaiah 58. God never charged Government to disciple or care for the poor, even though, it is the place we shall rise as citizens and ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven. Instead, God called and mandated us to be fruitful and subdue the Earth. He asked us to redeem Creation and showed us how through the life of Jesus.
At Shores of Grace and Bethany we take this reality very seriously. It is our belief that we are part of the solution of every problem the world has. That means that we are not going to expect Politicians to respond to our calling, yet, we will partner with a fallen system and bring reformation and service so no one is in lack. We believe that the poor, the widow, the foreigner and every one of the least of these are our responsibility and we will have faith in God as we fight for justice and transformation. Would you join us in this Biblical calling?