Our First Step at Making a Difference!

Raising awareness about something doesn’t always mean that this awareness raises a sense of caring. It seems that from the time I can remember, Christianity has been something that at times, is worn on a sleeve or carried around like an accessory. One of the things that I have learned over the years is that Christianity should be less about what we call ourselves and more about the actions that come from us. In much of the literature that is emerging about authentic Christianity is that our Christianity must be one that is “incarnate”. The words of Jesus in John 20:21 are “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” This is our churches first step in our journey of discovering what it means to live an incarnate faith.

We know we did not change the world in one afternoon by handing out lunches with other goodies, but we felt like it was the beginning of something that extended beyond ourselves. Raising awareness about the homeless in our community is nothing new, and it doesn’t mean raising a sense of caring. For a faith to be incarnate, it means that we must care, not just about the homeless but also those that have homes, but are emotionally in need, physically in need, and spiritually in need. Everyone must begin somewhere.

(I don’t know how to use flickr to show the entire set of pictures from this day so the pictures below are the best I could do).

homeless-2.jpghomeless-5.jpghomeless-3.jpghomeless-1.jpg

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8 comments
  1. sirojs said:

    This is a wonderful thing you are engaging in. I like how you redefine Christianity as praxis and that homeless is not merely physical but spiritual, emotional, and sociological as well. There is nothing like being able to provide ‘home’ for the soul.

  2. I like how you put it “home for the soul”. I think an integral part of Christianity is about finding a home for our soul. I think it is found in the context of relationships. I spent time with a group from my church tonight and and spending time with them was meaningful to me.

  3. Melissa said:

    What you are doing is great! Letting the church be involved in the community. Loving one another is not just saying “I love you” but acting on that love for others emotionally, spiritually and physically.

  4. sirojs said:

    David, I personally think that offering a home the way you did it for your church is a wonderful thing. How often people experience homelessness even within their own church. Godspeed.

  5. Siroj, one thing I have noticed is that people are afraid to find a home in any context here on earth. I think they feel that if they do, they somehow betray the belief of an afterlife with God. Getting people to find a home here and now is so difficult, and I have learned that I can’t tell them that they have to. It has to be something they find for themselves. My job, is trying to lead people to understand and accept that is is ok to enjoy life here and now, at the core of our Christianity is that sense of wholeness and acceptance.

  6. sirojs said:

    That is so interesing. I never thought of that but I think you are right…especially among our own Adventists. And I totally agree about helping them to find their own path. Your approach is great…offering acceptance and affirming life here and now. If you have further suggestions on how we can help people find a home here, I will be most interested.

  7. Siroj, In the past few months I have been thinking more and more about how to show people that a home can be found here. It is so difficult because, especially in our Adventist context home has been the idea that Heaven is home, and this world is just temporary. The thing is that anything in contrast to Eternity is temporary. I have been wanting to post something on life here and now. I will say though that some of the better writing about life here and now is by Rob Bell in his book “Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith”. I just finished the book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  8. sirojs said:

    Sounds like an interesting book. I share your concern as well especially the part about how to make a home here instead of being obsessed with eschatology. I once read that often when one is unable to cope with the reality of life, it is easier to look for paradise. I think this was also a very common mythological theme among the natives in various parts of the world. It is interesting to me how, in my conversation with many people who have been through, for example cancer, suddenly they are able to take life one day at a time and take it seriously. In a more cliche term…smell the roses. But it seems true. Wondering it this is because peole who have been through trauma are forced to deal with the painful reality and therefore are able to see God’s face even in pain itself? Someone once said, religion is for those who wish to escape from hell. Spirituality is for those who’ve been through hell.

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