The economy is failing--or has it failed? Unemployment is @ an all time high. I'm not stating anything all 2 of my readers don't already know. Here in CA our state budget is going through *major* cuts. Where do the cuts take place? Public services, of course.
Local public schools have no summer school this summer. Local parks have had to cut summer activities & sports programs. Social services programs (welfare) have been drastically cut when many people currently need them the *most*!
What did we do before public programs? We handled things *privately*. Churches were the main source of resources for hungry & down trodden, hard on their luck people.
Somewhere along the line we dropped the ball & the government took over. We began to out source & *refer* those in need to the government. Guess what!?! The government isn't going to get credit anymore!
It's time to go back to our roots, church. It is US that have been instructed to feed the poor, the hungry, to care for orphans & widows. The opportunity we've been wanting is NOW!
Our local park, a publicly funded park, recently allowed us to hold our Vacation Bible School on their park property... UNheard of! They even kept their offices open later than scheduled just so we could have it. Why? They had nothing else to offer the children this summer because their park program had been *so* reduced.
When the government no longer has the resources it's time for US to step up to the plate. What will we offer? Will we share? or horde? it's time to stock up our church food pantries. Time to reach out to youth that have no where to go & nothing to do this summer, or after school. Time to deliver some blankets, tents, water bottles, socks & food to the increasing number of homeless.
I believe the faces you see @ church are about to change. Yes, plenty of people come to Christ in hard times cause it's *convenient*...but how many of us came to Christ, initially because of what HE could do for US? right? We wanted to be *saved*. The person sitting next to you in the pew may no longer be so clean cut & freshly showered. The lost, the lonely, the broken & the needy are looking for answers and government programs no longer have them.
Are you ready church? Are you willing church? Are WE ready to step out of our comfort zones? Out of our comfortable homes. Are we ready & willing to start LIVING what we're preaching? Willing to *live* what we believe?
If so---I firmly believe revival will happen. If we can be brave enough to step out, reach out, in the name of love, which is the name of God! NOW is the time church. Forget what has been *said* from the pulpit, words may no longer be necessary. Time to put our $$$, our time, our own resources, where our mouth has been for decades now.
I don't know about you but *I* am so excited. It's time for the church to stand up & be taken seriously. We've already been *heard, it's time to be SEEN!
It's time to work together, as one body. Pull our resources & energy & yes, $ if you have it. If we all share what we do have, then no one should go hungry. Be creative. Maybe you can start an after school tutoring program. Or like we did, VBS @ the park this year. Start making those connections, building those relationships.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'