Monday, December 3, 2007

The Church and the Homeless

"Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?"

James 2:2-7
So, my friend Chris recommended that I read the book Under the Overpass. I just read it last week and I was a very insightful read. It is the real account of two college guys who spent 5 months living as homeless and describing their encounters. It is amazing both the ways that some people treated them horribly and how others demonstrated great acts of generosity. I was intrigued to see the different personalities of different cities across the USA come out. It was also amazing to see them being stretched. Most importantly, as Christians, they describe their interactions with other Christians and with churches and remind us what it means to live out our faith here and now so that we may be agents of Christ in this world!