Archive for ‘hope’

December 23, 2008

Hope (re)placed

All too often we Christians forget the point of ministry. Ministry is not an end to itself. This reality should have considerable impact – especially on our ministry efforts that focus on non-Christians. We do not give food, clothing, financial aid or a myriad of other benevolent outpourings of love simply for the sake of themselves. The complete revelation of Scripture continually points to the ultimate showcasing of God’s love being proclaimed as glad tidings throughout His creation. Simply, we are to engage in non-Christian ministry efforts with the intent to be able to effectively share, through words, God’s gospel message.

No actions, regardless of intent, can replace giving someone the specific information she needs in order to be in sweet fellowship with her Creator. No material good or defense of the helpless amounts to the paper this blog is written on if it doesn’t point out our incredible wickedness in stark contrast with God’s immeasurable holiness. When ministry is engaged for the sake of itself, it becomes its own gospel. Hence terms such as “the social gospel.”

Christmas is coming – or so I’ve heard. All too often the iconic imagery and tools we use to point to the hope found in the Gospel get in the way. Heart felt, and misplaced, Christian empathy that wants to stop its effort after getting the precious doll in Joanne’s hands or the indestructible fire engine in Jimmy’s hands has failed to cross the finish line. Hope that hopes in human charity is bankrupt.

All this to lead up to this story. I don’t know the people, or the school. I don’t know the particulars other than the story, but it is enough. Based on the information given, I’m going to guess that the Gospel was shared, not only in action but in word. These people crossed the finish line. Check it out and decide for yourself.