Summary: An overview of how central it is to our Christian faith to care for those on the edges of society.
LOOKING OUT FOR #1: Sometimes we let an “I got mine!” attitude come into our spiritual lives.
- Our society in general has a lot of the “I got mine!” mentality. Everyone looking out for themselves.
- That can easily creep over into a spiritual attitude that is simply focused on “me and Jesus.”
- That is, my focus is on me “growing spiritually,” defined as interior spiritual work that has little real world impact.
- Cf. to concern and compassion for those around me, especially those on the edges.
- Enumerate who “those on the edges” are. Examples:
a. The drug addict in the backpack.
b. The single mother of three.
c. The unemployed.
d. The chronically sick facing bankruptcy because of medical bills.
e. Those struggling with mental illness.
f. Those at the bottom of their class in school.
g. The lonely with no one to talk to.
HOW CENTRAL IS THIS TO TRUE FAITH?
1. Those on the edges were the focus of Jesus’ mission statement.
- Luke 4:18-19.
2. Those on the edges are a useful measure for judging true faith.
- Jesus treats their actions toward those people as a good judge of their faith.
HOW WELL ARE WE DOING? Let’s talk about lunch.
- We simply don’t do this. I’ve talked about this as a part of what we do with the Scott meal, but clearly what is in mind here is something more personal. We simply ignore Jesus’ words.
AN UNEXPECTED INVITATION: The first to the manger and the first to the tomb were those on the edges.
- The first to the manger were not the wealthy wise men. No, they wouldn’t show up for a couple years. Rather, on the night of Jesus’ birth, the angels appeared to lowly shepherds. Shepherding was a disrespected profession and lowly esteemed. Yet that’s who God had the angels tell and the shepherds were the first to the manger.
- The first to the tomb to discover the resurrection on Easter morning were not religious scholars or government officials. Rather it was women. In that day, women were lowly esteemed, to the point where their testimony was not admissible in court. And yet that is who God chose to be the first to discover the miracle of the resurrection and to proclaim the incredible truth that Jesus is alive.
- I’ve spent most of the sermon on those of us here who are Christians and who too often don’t show the compassion that we should to those on the edges. And this invitation is a time for us to come forward and repent. But as we close, if you’re here and you have felt for one reason or another like you’re one of those on the edges and that because of that God doesn’t have any interest in you, I want you to hear this good news.