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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
August 31, 2001

I'll tell you what it really means to worship the Lord.
Remove the chains of prisoners who are chained unjustly.
Free those who are abused!
Share your food with everyone who is hungry;
share your home with the poor and homeless.
Give clothes to those in need;
don't turn away your relatives.

Isaiah 58:6-7 (CEV*)

The prophets, like Isaiah, and Jesus always got most annoyed with self-righteous, pious types. They always insisted that what God wants is for us to live our lives with God's values, not to make a show of "religious" acts.

The theme of caring for the poor and oppressed runs through the Bible. It shows up again and again in both the Old and New Testaments. God is obviously trying to get our attention about this.

The Incarnation goes beyond Jesus. All Christians are called to incarnate Christ's values in their lives. The song says, "And they'll know we are Christians by our love."

This is a challenge, especially for those of us who live relatively comfortable, affluent lives. Are we showing the love of Christ towards "the least of these" (Matthew 25:40) - those unjustly imprisoned, the abused, the hungry, the homeless, etc.? Does the way we live our lives exemplify the way of Christ? Is it obvious that our lives have been transformed?

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2001 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Rockville, MD 20850-6168

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Document last modified on Saturday, 27-Dec-2003 11:58:43 EST