Between the Ends: February 16, 2016

I’ve been wondering- Am I really burdened for people?

On a recent visit to my doctor, I expressed concern over my job and its connection to an acid-reflux condition I have.  To which he reminded me that its likely, in part, a result of the empathy ministers feel toward people and the stress it generates. As, with many others, that is often the price  we pray for a ministry to the varied needs of people.
And yet, a frequent criticism of Christianity is that Christians care little about the lives of the people they evangelize- only their souls
On the contrary, what has been proven time and time again throughout history is the church’s missionary engagement with people in need.  We have only to remember the most recent Ebola crisisand realize that many on the front lines of the fight agains the disease, were missionary doctors, who willingly placed their own lives in jeopardy to minister to the lives of men and women they had in some cases, never met. And why not, after all, in John’s Gospel, where we find ourselves on Wednesdays these days, we find ample evidence of the very actions I have mentioned. Check me out!
  • John 3: Jesus ministers to the “heart” needs of one Nicodemus.
  • John 4: Jesus ministers to the Savior needs of one outcast woman
  • John 5: Jesus ministers to the physical needs of an invalid left helpless for 38 years.
  • Jesus feeds the hungry- some 12,000 of them in John 6
  • And finally, for all of us who have been on the wrong side of judgment, Jesus rescues the soul and the life of the woman caught in adultery in John 8
We live in the grips of a world that is decaying, difficult, and sometimes, dangerous. How blessed we are to have a model before us in Jesus, that is both ready and redemptive, to meet the needs of a world that has lost its way. 
May we be more like Him every day as we confront people in need.