Pastor Paul wrote a brief letter to a pastor-mentoree, Titus. In it, Paul says, “Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others…”
Has a year like 2020 ever presented so many opportunities to live out that verse?
Lists of needs go into the margin and onto the next page. And, most of those needs land in the “urgent” column.
-The unemployed household struggles to pay the rent.
-School administrators are pressed to pacify everybody--the governor and the school board and the families and the staff.
-Minority kids get shoved aside and ignored.
-Disillusioned and disenfranchised people search high and low for at least one real relationship.
-Owners beg for customers to help keep their businesses upright.
-Victims of racial, economic, and gender abuse suffer in silence.
-Young parents labor to make sure their kids have a safe 2020.
-Old folks feel abandoned and just left to die.
-Homeowners get displaced by derechos and hurricanes and wildfires.
-Suicidal thoughts are spreading as fast and as far as a coronavirus.
-Almost everyone longs to be loved in our quarantined world.
-We're all dis-eased.
It’s not hard to see a need. Just open your eyes. There’s one on the left. And, another on the right. You walked past one. There’s more up ahead.
"...do good by meeting the urgent needs of others..." That's what Jesus-followers are directed to do.
But...I'm tired. I'm fatigued. Plus, I have my own needs. I have my family to care for. I’ve got old friends who could use my help.
It's too much!
Or is it?
Well, it is too much for us, by ourselves.
To the Philippians, Paul wrote, "I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."
That's not meant to be a verse for Christian athletes. That's a verse for you and me when we feel overwhelmed by the needs we see. It's, especially, a verse for life in the infamous year, 2020.
We can't meet very many, if any, needs by ourselves. So we remind ourselves, "I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."