“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Those are the words on the Statue of Liberty. Welcoming strangers is to be one of the marks of believers. Jesus shares the affirmation of the ‘sheep’, whom He affirms by saying,
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me” (Matthew 25:35-36 NIV).
I remember the difficulties as a small child of sharing with my siblings. When I say that you need to appreciate that I was one of eight children. Sharing my Tonka truck, or my bike, or my football were not theoretical things that might happen … they happened all the time. Okay, some of that was not by choice as most of my siblings were bigger than me.
Sharing is not a natural trait of the human condition, but Jesus shared no small portion with us. He has shared or is sharing His Spirit, His work, His home, His peace, His mercy, His family, His riches, His purpose, His burden, His goals, and many other facets of privilege.
The Apostle Paul speaks against some self-sufficient types when he says, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Cor 4:7). Absolutely everything we have we have been given by God, and we need to have that sharing spirit to inspire us to bless others with what we have received.
May God give us more of a sense of how much we have been given and the courage to share as we see a world in such great need.
Your co-worker, Dennis