Ezekiel 16:49 provides a serious moment of contemplation with these words,
“Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy.”
This passage came to mind after having spent the past ten days activated as the Faith-based Liaison with St Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center. In that position, I communicate with over 300 churches of all denominational persuasions. I share needs as they are discovered and provide ministry opportunities during emergencies. Obviously, these are critical moments for the faith community to shine and to make a difference in both lives and communities!
Two answers prevail when confronted with opportunites to serve the needs of their community. The preferred (less frequent) response is, “We will do whatever it takes to meet that need!” The other response ( more frequent) is best described as “head-scratching.” Excuses and questions preempt any ministry action or community outreach. Some churches, pastors, and denominations will not act. I have learned over the years who to call and who not to call.
Disasters provide a tremendous platform from which many churches and people of faith can make a serious, long-term impact in the lives of community members. Frankly I do not understand the failure to respond. In fact it hurts my heart!
When the faith community fails to respond I am reminded of Ezekiel 16:49. I am also reminded of Jesus, who when He saw the crowds He was moved with compassion and then moved out among them to teach, preach, touch, and to heal. God knows the contemporary church needs every advantage to reach our world for Christ. Isaac provides such an opportunity!