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The Word in Your World

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“In your goodness you provided for the poor”.

Ps 68:10 GNB

Many churches take a collection for the poor at the time of a service of Holy Communion. And many poor people know where to go when they are in need – to the church. The problem of poverty is as old as the Bible, as old as the exodus from Egypt. And in Psalm 68, a hymn sung in the Temple at a service of worship in Jerusalem, the congregation acknowledge that God, in his goodness, provided for the poor. Whatever means were organized in the Temple the people acknowledged that the help the poor received had its origin in God himself.

In the New Testament the book of Acts recorded that the early church in Jerusalem organised a system in which there was a common sharing, which means that those who were poor were subsidised by others who had more.

Part of the mission of the church down through the ages has been to give assistance to the poor. The East Harlem Protestant parish in New York organised a credit union to help poor members. They didn’t merely give handouts. They found that one poor widow with three children to support was deeply in debt to a number of creditors. A counsellor showed her how to get one loan to pay off all the debts and then arranged for her to reschedule the payments for that loan at a slower rate and so to avoid further debt. Thoughtfulness is needed in helping the poor. Enquire how your Christian fellowship supports the poor and see if you can play a meaningful part. Just helping people to find employment can often be the most caring and helpful thing you can do.


Lord, help us to help the poor.


I pray today Lord for all who will be involved in car crashes. Help them to cope with the shock and, if they are injured, help them to get speedy medical attention. Help them with all the legal things and prompt their friends and relations to support them. I ask it in Christ’s name. AMEN


I.B.R.A. Readings

Matthew 5:31–32

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