Be The Good News!

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. Luke 16:19-22 NRSV

Jesus’ story pointed out the chasm between the comfortable lifestyle MP900446698[1]of the Pharisees and the grave needs of the poor. I don’t know what motivated this rich man. He obviously didn’t want to know anything about the pain just outside his walls. That may have been a convenient way to live, but it was ultimately foolish, as Jesus pointed out.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in myself, or my own pleasures, that I too miss the struggles, the needs, and the very real pain that’s all around me. The story of Lazarus reminds me how foolish I am when I refuse to see or do anything about the pain and suffering just outside my door.

But I have to confess, as I read this story I often think it is talking about someone else, someone other than me. After all, I am not rich. But I do enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, and I there are times I think more about maintaining that lifestyle, than the needs of hurting people.

MP900427635[1] Commenting on Jesus’ story, Jill Carattini writes, “There are far too many…Lazaruses who are still waiting, waiting for men and women of faith to be the good news they proclaim.” Her words remind me that I am to be the one who, like Jesus, answers the cry of the needy, stands with the grieving and comforts the sick. I am supposed to be the good news I proclaim!

There is nothing wrong with feasting sumptuously. There is something wrong with self-indulgence that completely ignores the opportunity to love and touch the world with the living truth of Jesus Christ. Wise people see and respond to the needs around them.

Why not pray with me today: Lord, help me to be the good news I proclaim!

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