May 28, 2024

Caring for People in Need

Matthew 25:31-46

“I needed clothes and you clothed me. . . .”

—  Matthew 25:36

News reports have noted that the world has an overabundance of used clothing. In many ways, that is a good thing. Even the poorest of the poor can have access to clothing! But does that make Jesus’ statement irrelevant in the 21st century? No. The clothing that people may have is not always suitable. A warm jacket in subzero weather is a necessity! There is also another sense in which people who sleep in a cardboard box in the dead of winter are in need of “clothing.”

Extreme poverty still exists. There are countless people in the world with insufficient resources to pay for housing, buy food, and access medical care—not to mention paying for education and other costs to maintain a livelihood. What should our response be in the face of poverty?

The world is blessed with many organizations that strive to meet urgent needs and to uproot the causes of poverty. Issues are complex, and solutions are difficult to find. Though we may feel, and maybe often be, powerless to create effective solutions to these issues, a godly love for mercy calls for prayerful compassion when we are tempted to turn a blind eye.

We need to seek God’s help and wisdom in caring for people in need.

Lord, move us to compassion for all who struggle in poverty. Help us to look for sustainable solutions. You created a world full of resources, and we pray for wisdom in their use. Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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