Do Not Close Your Ear To The Cry of the Poor

I continue to process the experiences of our latest mission trip to Tijuana and the Tijuana Christian Mission. Today’s lesson from the Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community interestingly enough speaks to the reasons for going on a mission trip of service.

From Proverbs 21:13

If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard.

And from James 2:17

So, faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

James refers not to the type of works that Paul sometimes addresses in the context of grace, that is, works that you must do to make yourself right with God. James already assumes faith and grace. If you read the entire letter, you see that he is specifically talking about service. 

He follows Jesus’ second command–to love our neighbor as ourself. Jesus continues, when asked who the neighbor is, to tell the story of the Good Samaritan. Our neighbor is someone in need whom we come across in our life.

Jesus said that we will know his followers by their love. James puts additional context. Your faith is revealed in how you act. You say you have faith, but your actions scream selfishness, pride, stubbornness? It’s time for a faith check-up.

Service can be a simple gesture, a smile, a helping hand. It’s not always a life-changing experience. But sometimes that simple reaching out with a smile does change someone’s life for the better. It can show them God is real.

And, as followers of Jesus, that’s a big part of our “job”.

PS–I put a link to TCM. You can click and check it out. You can “adopt” a child for a donation of $50/month. You can support in other ways. If you’re in San Diego with a day to spare, TCM is just a short drive over the border. Although the wait to cross the border back (passport required) can be long. Getting into the US is harder than any other country I’ve travelled to. 

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