Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Be merciful as God is
“Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there.”
God has given us guidelines for our dealings with the marginalized people. It is because of His grace that we are alive and are able to conduct our activities of daily living. He wants us to extend the grace and mercy we have received from Him to others, especially the poor and destitute. Whatever we do to the least of them we do unto Him. We should not take advantage or exploit those working under our supervision. They should be treated with dignity as our fellow human beings and should not be abused. If we hire people, they deserve fair wages in due time. It is ruthless to defraud them of their earnings, which they are dependent on to meet their needs.
The Israelites showed generosity to the poor by leaving part of their harvest for them. As they followed this tradition, Ruth was able to take care of herself and Naomi. When we are kind and try to uplift the downtrodden, we honor God. We have to be openhanded, tithing our income to reach out, rescue, and redeem people from the struggles they face. He wants us to remember our past - how He has helped us in our desperate times. While fleeing from Egypt, there was a point when the Israelites faced the Red Sea ahead of them and the Egyptian army behind them. Neither swimming across the Red Sea nor fighting with the Egyptians was an option for them. God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass through, but when the brutal Egyptian army followed, the water drowned the oppressors. God wanted the Israelites to remember that they were aliens enslaved in a foreign land and that they were liberated by Him. He wanted them to treat aliens living in their land with dignity. We too must treat new immigrants courteously and help them out. Today many of us are enslaved to alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc... When we go to the foot of the Cross in repentance, we will also be freed from our slavery to substances and our weaknesses. Rather than looking down at people struggling with these vices, we must try to help them overcome their weaknesses.
We are all sinners and the wages of sin is death. Jesus, in His grace and mercy, paved the way for our salvation by dying on that rugged cross. Unless we repent and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we will not have salvation. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel to others living in darkness and bring them to Christ, so that they too can have salvation.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, open our eyes to see the plight of others, enable us to be openhanded towards those in need. Amen.
Saramma Chacko, Epiphany MTC, NY