13 March 2019
Reading: Deuteronomy 22-24; Galatians 4
Always remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from your slavery. That is why I have given you this command. (Deuteronomy 24:18 NLT)
Moses instructed the people to care for the poor, the foreigners, and those like widows and orphans who were especially disadvantaged. He told them not to glean their fields or vineyards or olive trees, but to leave something for the poor. He cautioned them not to take a poor person’s coat or tools as collateral for a loan.
The reason: Always remember that you were once poor and disadvantaged and that God was kind and rescued you.
I don’t always remember. Sometimes I do, but not always. I remember once in 1963, the year we were married, before Jean and I both found jobs, that our church gave us $5.00, and it was enough to buy gasoline to travel to my folks’ place for Thanksgiving. I remember in 1992, when we first lived in London, thinking, “If only we could get just a little ahead financially, and not constantly face the grinding pressure of rent and bills and expenses every month!”
I remember one time, in a service at our church, Pastor Corey Parnell asked all the single parents to raise their hands. Then he said, “Here’s an opportunity for us to help someone else. If you’re sitting near one of the single parents who raised their hand, open your wallet or purse and give them some money to bless them and their kids!” Over the next few minutes, many hundreds of dollars were given, and everyone who gave or received shared in the blessing of generosity. And we were all reminded that there are needs and opportunities around us all the time, if we will open our eyes and our hearts to notice!
While I am able, I will carry some cash in my wallet and do my best to stay sensitive to those I meet who are right now living the reality of what I occasionally remember, but too often forget!
Father, I do remember! And I know that those experiences taught me that you can be trusted and that people can be kind. Help me to never forget that you can be trusted, and may I always be one of the kind and generous people. Amen.