This sign in front of the Canadian Memorial Centre for Peace provides a powerful message to all of us this Sunday morning, especially those of us who claim to worship the living Christ. Those living in faithfulness to the Gospel understand that love builds longer tables and even bridges. Only fear and hatred builds walls.
How can you say you have fulfilled the law and the prophets, when it is written in the law that you should love your neighbor as yourself? Look, many of your brothers, sons of Abraham, are covered with filth and dying of hunger. Meanwhile your own house is filled with goods, and not a thing goes out of it to them. – Origen
Faithfulness is never about what we say we believe. Even the early Church Fathers understood this. Faithfulness is about living out our beliefs in real and tangible ways. Faithfulness is about daily decisions.
Loving our neighbor as ourself means doing whatever is most necessary for his salvation, his shalom. That must start with meeting her need for bread and shelter. Everything else is secondary.
Make us aware of how much we, at times, benefit from the oppression of others. We seek our bargains at department stores without ever asking if those bargains were made possible by children laboring for a pittance in some dingy sweat shop, or by some women working for starvation wages in a Third World country.
Lord, help us realize that the beef we eat may have been raised on land that was once a rain forest home for natives in Brazil or Belize; and that the fruit we eat may have been grown on land in a Third World nation where people needed the land to grow food for themselves and for their children.
Lord, help us to acknowledge that the good life is often ours because the poor of the world are exploited…. And then show us what to do to make things right so that such injustice is vanquished and your shalom is everywhere.
A prayer from Tony Campolo from for they shall be fededited by Ronald J. Sider.