Take Sides with the Poor

Read: Luke 4:16-21

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. (v. 18)

As Jesus began his ministry, he visited the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. The passage of the day was from Isaiah 6:1-2, with themes that Mary echoed as she praised God before Jesus was born (Luke 1:46-55). Each describes the restoration and healing that God offered Israel, and the ways that restoration was good news to those with the least power. Then Jesus made a bold claim: “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (4:21).

God puts down the mighty and lifts up the lowly. God pulls down the proud and elevates the humble. God sends the rich away empty, while the poor he fills with good things. God loves us all, rich and poor, powerful and powerless. But in the tumult of history, God does take sides—with the little guy: the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the widows and orphans.

That’s good news if you are poor and powerless, but what about the affluent, the privileged, the powerful? We can’t change God’s nature to suit ourselves. But we can change ourselves. We can choose to side with the poor whenever we have the opportunity. We can be on the lookout for ways to befriend the least, the last, the lost. That may look different for each of us, but as you are able, a question to consider at this time of year is, “How can I volunteer my time and money?” —Lou Lotz

Today’s Activity: Select a charitable organization and make a tangible gift of money or time.

About the Author

Lou Lotz

Rev. Lou Lotz is a recently retired Reformed Church pastor. Lou and his wife Mary Jean live in Hudsonville, Michigan.

This entry is part 21 of 26 in the series Waiting with Joy