He has told you, O mortal, what is good: and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? - Micah 6:8
On Monday, we read Matthew 25:34-40 where Jesus calls us to feed the hungry, provide clothes to the naked, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, care for the sick, and visit the imprisoned. But if we only hand out food or clothes or care, and don't examine how societies create unseen barriers for those in poverty, then we are only loving kindness but not doing justice. The above verse calls us to do all three: do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. When the Zip Code Connection originated, it was called the Zip Code Project – this was problematic because the word "project" over-simplified the work that needed to be done. Eradicating poverty can't be solved with simple solutions.
- What are the barriers (seen and unseen) that prevent some of our neighbors from having the abundant life God wants for them? If it were as simple as working harder—why hasn't that worked in so many cases?
- What can the church do for the hungry beyond food pantries, or for the naked beyond clothing closets? What's the difference between "project," vs. "connection?"
God of abundance, help us leverage the resources of the family you have provided for us; help us engage in solutions that cure the sources of poverty, rather than simply treating its symptoms. Help us see our siblings in need, rather than taking the more comfortable route of not noticing their pain. Amen.
As we work to participate in ministries of connection, let us continue our Lenten commitment to setting aside an hour's wage each week or giving up other things we crave as a form of fasting to support the Zip Code Connection and missions in Mozambique through MDiM.
Contribute today at tmumc.org/lent.