Sunday, November 1, 2009

Praying for Your Kids Monday
Remembering the Marginalized

Last week the kids and I were meeting Shannon and her kids at a McDonalds playland and on our way there we saw a man on the side of the road holding a sign reading he was hungry and homeless. As I was stopped I looked in my purse for a few bucks only to find that I didn't have any cash and as the light turned I realized I could get him lunch at McDonalds and take it back to him.

At McDonalds I asked Shannon if she would watch Samuel and Emily in the playland while I ran the meal to him; it was raining and I didn't want to load them in again. She said no problem but suggested I actually should take them so they could see Christ's love in action. It was a great idea and Samuel was able to fully understand why we were taking that man lunch and asked some really great questions on our way home.

Please don't misunderstand this story; I don't tell it to pat myself on the back but to instead to highlight Shannon's great idea.

The New Testament is filled with exhortations to care for the poor, feed the hungry and love our neighbor and you don't have to read very many of the words in red to know that Jesus' heart was for the marginalized and the forgotten. "On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.' (Mark 2:17).

Hebrews 13:3 reminds us, "Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." I love Shannon's idea that the earlier we teach our kids lessons of compassion and generosity the more likely they are to practice it later. One thing to do as these winter months are coming upon us is to check with your church or local rescue mission to see if there are age-appropriate ways you and your children can serve the poor and homeless. Can you deliver meals to shut ins? Can you donate toiletries to a mission? Maybe your kids can color pictures to give reminding those people that they matter, someone is praying for them and that Jesus died for them. Make a call--you may be surprised how little time and effort it takes to make an impact on others and your kids.

Lord of love, You sent Your only Son so that we may have hope and I confess I all too often overlook the poor, the lonely and the needy because I am too swept up in my own world. I pray for __________ to have Your heart for the marginalized. I pray You will spring up compassion and mercy in her heart and that she will look at those who are less fortunate around her and want to be kind and generous. I pray _________ will never take her blessings for granted and always know You are the One to whom she owes thanks. Amen.

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