(These are the transcripts of a series of ‘Midday Meditations’ – 60-second devotionals – broadcast on Radio Cayman in April 2019)
There’s a famous quote by St. Francis of Assissi that goes like this: “Do all you can to preach the gospel and if necessary use words!”.
Just a couple of problems with that quote: first: it’s nonsense, second: St. Francis didn’t say it. It’s nonsense because the gospel IS words: it’s truths about Jesus, God the Father and us that we need to respond to. BUT, he did once say, “Holy charity confounds all diabolical and fleshly temptations and all fleshly fears”, which basically means when we are generous to others it helps us to be like God and stops us getting distracted by our own fears.
When God punished the Israelites 2,600 years ago through their defeat by the Babylonians, their neglect of the poor, the needy and the vulnerable was the key reason alongside idolatry that God gave them.
When Jesus was on earth he spent his public ministry helping people in practical ways.
If people are trying to live like Jesus, then they will think like Jesus, and one of the ways that he thought – and still thinks – is seeing a need, being moved to compassion by love for the people in need, and DOING something for the people in need.
And, in our own small way, that’s what Christians look like too.