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Windows into the Light by Michael Sullivan

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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Thursday, March 12

There was a rich man, who was clothed in fine linen and feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table.
—Luke 16: 19-21A

How many people are waiting on the crumbs from your table? In our contemporary world, too many of us are isolated from the marginalized people of the world. Mass communication in the form of the internet and television bombard us with constant images of those in need, but we are largely removed from physical contact.

A trip to the mall, a journey down the grocer’s aisle, or a quick latté from the coffee shop don’t bring us into relationship with those who suffer. Unlike in Jesus’ day—when all sorts of people lived beside one another and the concept of crumbs falling from a table made sense—relationships with those who suffer hunger are rare.

Sociologists tell us that 20 percent of our planet’s population now lives in extreme poverty. One billion people are caught in a web of destitution and destruction. Given Christ’s teaching in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, how will we respond? 

Our response begins by a return to relationship. Each of us is called to engage the other, respecting difference and finding commonality. We must emerge from our isolation and return to the community where the challenges of poverty are before us and are accepted as our own responsibility.

We must begin to look to ourselves as members of the human family if we are to solve the problems before us. Christ calls us to reach out and risk the possibility of relationship. If we are to be faithful people under Christ’s rule, then we must set forth and accept a new day where risk is embraced and relationships are expected.

We live in an era where the numbers of starving is increasing. As followers of Christ, we are charged with living the life of servanthood and sharing the bread of life from our table. Let not the words from Jesus be true of us today, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.”

God of relationships, open us to the risks of relationship, that trusting in your love, we will bring your kingdom to those who still hunger for the crumbs from the table you have set before us. Amen.