Let me tell you a story. I heard this from my father last week. One of the members of his congregation was grievously injured in a car crash and has suffered a spinal injury and paralysis. She is a mother of two young children and she will have to endure several months of treatment at a hospital in another state, so the vestry voted to buy the father and children airline tickets for two round trips to visit her.
I love this story. It reminds me of the oldest stories of Christians caring for the sick and those in prison, even when the sick or imprisoned were strangers to them. In his excellent book, “The Rise of Christianity,” Rodney Stark argues that Christianity grew through two global pandemics because more Christians survived simply because they cared for one another rather than abandoning the sick.
Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends…I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.” (John 15:12-17)
Inspired by our worship together we follow Christ by welcoming the stranger, feeding hungry bodies and spirits, giving of ourselves, and inviting others to join us in this journey of faith. That’s what it looks like when we love one another, including the homeless, the marginalized, and the hungry, just as Christ has loved us.
Yours in Christ,