Many people are familiar with the story of The Good Samaritan, but this is just one example of many in the Bible where Jesus tells his followers to love and help others. No matter whether they share the same faith, culture or lifestyle, Christians are called to be kind, selfless and generous to all. One passage which sums this up well is from Matthew’s gospel, and this was used as the reading for our 2016 Harvest offering:
Matthew 25:35-40 // Good News Translation
35 I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, 36 naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!’
[Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society]
This year at Spurgeon Baptist Church we gave in two different ways. Firstly, our congregation brought in a great number of food items to be donated to those in our local community who need it most by the Milton Keynes Food Bank. At the same time, we have pledged financial support to the Syria’s Forgotten Families campaign, run by BMS World Mission. This charity effort is working mainly in Lebanon, where thousands of refugee families are now living. As well as the simple things like food and shelter, their children need long-term educational support to make sure that the next generation of Syrians is not lost as a result of the conflict.
Those present at our Harvest service would have heard this powerful new poem, Everyone’s the same by Lucy Berry: