Newsletter

September 2005

 

 How Do We Respond To Hurricane Katrina?

 We have seen devastation of similar magnitudes in lesser developed countries. But when a catastrophe of this magnitude literally hits our own country as 911 did, I find myself so burdened and longing to help. It is hard to believe that so many have lost everything, are without basic necessities and in many cases have no idea if family members are alive. These issues obviously transcend how much we are going to be paying for gas even though the price of gas is an issue for families commuting to work at long distances.

We hear of looters taking advantage of the situation and recoil when we learn that these evil thugs fire at helicopters and boats that are bringing critical aid to those in desperate  need. And all of this is not taking place in some distant, remote place of the world. It is the largest natural disaster in the history of our Nation.

 

The proximity of this tragedy makes it so much harder for me to "disconnect," to become complacent, to gradually lose that initial urgency which generates desires to help and which inspires prayer for these tragic victims. Although I must acknowledge the sad danger, over time, to lose my fervent concern even when disaster hits our own Nation.

 

I know from Scripture that God wants me never to disconnect from human suffering whether it is taking place in Afghanistan or downtown New Orleans or Biloxi, Mississippi or Central Africa. I know that God's love is so immense that He grieves over all Of the suffering of all peoples of the world. That is why the Great Commission given to us is global.

 

Our God came to the world to die on the cross for our sins so ultimately He could put an end to the suffering of the fall and to bring through His church a sincere, heartfelt offer of salvation and eternal life to all the peoples of the world. And He wants us to imitate this love.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. - Eph 5:1-2

 

So, as those -who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. - Col 3:12

Because we are God's children, because we now have His spiritual nature within us, we are to follow in His footsteps and bring His love to people everywhere. How many times did Christ feel dismay in His heart whenHe saw the short sightedness of Israel whose concern for the Gentiles was so glaringly absent despite the global nature of the Abrahamic covenant.

And I will make you a great nation... and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. - Gen 12:2-3

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ commanded us to extend His love even toward our personal enemies:

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. - Matt 5:44-45

So How Are We To Respond To Hurricane Katrina?

We need to pray and ask God what He wants us to do! He may want us to contribute financial relief; He certainly wants us to fervently pray for their needs. He obviously wants us to pray for individual Christians and churches and ministries in the area to bring both practical and spiritual help to these sad

victims. They need food and shelter. They need to understand that life is not what they own. Most importantly, they need genuine salvation. God does not want us [me] to disconnect after a while and lose the concern that grips my heart at this moment.

 

I need to remember something that I am prone to forget. I am to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the temporal suffering of all mankind. I am to be broken hearted at the probability that most will die without Christ and enter through the wide gate of destruction. My love and concern must be constant and world wide in scope. Finally, I know that the source of my concern is to be the very supernatural love of God that flooded our hearts at salvation.

... and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. - Rom. 5:5


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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427