June 14, 2014

Sharing From Our Abundance

Luke 16:19-31

“Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’”
—Luke 16:25


Some years ago, after spending a few days in Haiti and walking through areas of extreme poverty, I read the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Then a scary thought came to me: Could I and many other people in Western nations be living like the rich man in the parable? Am I living in the greatest of luxuries, while people like Lazarus are lying at my doorstep in great need, but I am doing nothing to help?

Perhaps we are not ultra-rich, but in North America and other wealthy lands most of us have much more than our basic needs supplied. In spite of a sliding economy, many of us have more than enough: nice homes with lots of conveniences, plenty to eat, enough water to keep our lawns green, vehicles to get us around, and a wardrobe for every season. Compared to millions of people living in underdeveloped countries, we are rich!

The question for us is “What are we doing for the poor?” Do we share with them from the abundance we have received from God? As coworkers of Christ, do we realize that Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and give water to the thirsty? He even says that whatever we do for people like these, we do for him (see Matthew 25:31-46). In this way God gives us many opportunities to help build his kingdom.

Lord, teach us to share with and help people who are in need. If our hearts need changing, please change us, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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