SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 2011.
LENTEN MEDITATION IV
The writer of the letter of James argues and rightly too that the: ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…’ James 1 v 27.
Today, some so called believers and children of God do not believe in practical demonstration of their faith. Anything therefore that will make them to go extra mile in taking load off the shoulders of some less privileged members in the society should not be their concern and vision. Rather they prefer to preach, pray and refuse to be part of practical solution in putting smiles in the faces of these our unfortunate brethren. I think we have had enough of empty religion, now is a time to act and show the world that Jesus really cares through us.
This time of lent and through the letter of Jesus, we the followers of Jesus Christ are given another opportunity to demonstrate how the gospel we have received and preached has touched us and our people as it concerns the less privilege among us.
It will be interesting to draw our attention to some bible passages that could touch our human kindness.
Tobit 4 says: ‘Give alms of thy goods, and never turn thy face from any poor man; and then the face of the Lord shall not be turned away from thee’.
Proverbs 19: ‘He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and look, what he layeth out, it shall be paid him again’.
‘Blessed be the man that provideth for the sick and needy; the Lord shall deliver him in the time of trouble’. Psalm 41.
Christianity is not an ornament to be worn it demands demonstration of love and action in concrete terms.
In the book: Bishop Ikechi Nwachukwu Nwosu: A perspective (2009) written by Rev. Canon (Barr.) Ernest Onuoha (as he then was), it was said of Bishop Ikechi Nwosu: ‘Ikechi felt that through him, the Lord will bless other people. And so, he made allowance/provision for other peoples children and made sure in this way they will be taken care of as they came to live with his family. He accepted, integrated and treated them as members of his immediate family. A visit to his household will convince you the reader that some children were taken in to live with his family so that they could be given the opportunity to realize themselves, some although if not through this arrangement could have ended up in the streets’.
God in every age will make a name for Himself. Those who allow God to make use of them would become God’s instruments in given succour to those that may be in need.
Therefore, it is no longer fashionable to hang on your door posts or entrance gate to your main building: ‘Beware of dogs’ even when you know you didn’t even own a puppy. True religion demands that you and I, take care of orphans and widows and should not hide under any disguise to shut them out.
Day by day, heaven keep record of even our works of charity.
Then the righteous will answer him, Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Matt. 25 v 23-40.
It is not too late to learn how to give succour to the less privileged. “Remember; in a job you never did; ‘God will give you the strength you never had”. Give alms of thy goods and never turn thy face from any poor man and the face of the Lord shall not be turned away from thee and thy household
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,