A vicar was too busy to help a desperate homeless lady needing help. He fobbed her off with a promise to pray for her. She wrote the following poem and gave it to a local Shelter officer:
I was hungry,
And you formed a humanities group to discuss my hunger.
I was imprisoned,
And you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.
I was naked,
And in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick,
And you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless,
And you preached a sermon on the spiritual shelter of the love of God.
I was lonely,
And you left me alone to pray for me.
You seem so holy, so close to God
But I am still very hungry – and lonely – and cold.
We sympathise with the vicar. The challenge is, we are all so very busy. Is it the right kind of busyness…? Have you had a similar experience?
The above and below are some of the notes from the questions I wrote up for discussion in home-groups this week, having shared the message yesterday at my local church, Holy Trinity Combe Down.
A little fellow in the ghetto was teased by one of the older street kids who said, “If God loves you, why doesn’t he take care of you? Why doesn’t God tell someone to bring you shoes and a warm coat and better food?” The little lad thought for a moment then with tears starting in his eyes, said, “I guess He does tell somebody, but somebody forgets…”
Let’s not be that person who forgets…
“I was talking to a friend who runs a national youth ministry. He told me about the Scouts in this country. They have a waiting list of over 50,000 kids, which puts paid to the lie that kids don’t want to go to a youth group. Many really do want to. They simply can’t. Why? Because there aren’t enough adults volunteering anymore. Where are they? They’re at home in their living rooms bowing down at the altar of Netflix (or Amazon Prime, etc).”
How would you answer the question: What did you do during lockdown? And, what did you learn during lockdown? And what new habits would you like to take out of lockdown moving forwards?
Evening options instead of just vegging in front of the TV watching lame programs (still on the TV though!):
8 sessions of the Prayer Course, free online:
The Alpha Course videos have likewise been posted for free, I’ve loved doing a refresher, high quality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBMMD5C0k-s&t=521s
Or how about Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage, we really enjoyed this:
Do sign up for praying for Muslims during Ramadhan – prayercast.com They send you a daily 4-min beautiful prayer video.
Ed Walker’s book A House Built on Love is well worth reading. Could any life-group get excited about coming alongside ex-cons/sexually-trafficked ladies/those wrestling with addictions etc in the context of buying a house and loving these precious wounded people to life? Hope into Action have seen stunning fruit, and as a full-on Christian organisation have repeatedly won secular industry awards for their approach. The social capital and potential of the Church is unparalleled in addressing such needs.
In Rocky 3, there’s a scene where he’s going soft, getting cultured. He’s achieved boxing fame, and he loses his fighting fire. Manager Mickey says to him: “The worst thing happened that could happen to any fighter – you got civilized.” I wonder if that is exactly what Jesus would say to us. You got civilized…
Have you been ‘civilised’? Is it wrong to be ‘civilised’? What is the point Simon was making? Do you agree or disagree, and why?