Dear Church Family,

When a woman came and anointed Jesus’ head with very expense ointment, some were indignant and saw her expression of love as a waste. In fact, they scolded her for not using it for the sake of the poor. Jesus corrected them and explained in Mark 14:7, “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.”

Jesus may have been alluding to the first half of Deuteronomy 15:11 which says, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land.” Moses continues on in this verse to command the covenant people of God on how they must respond to poverty in the Promised Land: “You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.”

When the early Church was formed, one of the first things they did that set them apart from the world was to compassionately take care of their own. Acts 4:34 describes, “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.” The holistic care these Christians showed for other Christians was a compelling, visible witness of their love for God and one another. This is what the Gospel does—it calls us to love and then creates that love within our hearts.

So, what is our role in meeting the needs of others as a local church? How should we respond to fellow church members when they are in need? What about unbelievers living in our area?

Those are all good questions that require careful answers formed through a biblical worldview. To help us work through these questions, starting this Tuesday, May 2nd we will be meeting together at 10:00 a.m. in the family life center to dialogue through, “When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor…and Yourself,” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. Lord willing, we will meet every Tuesday through August 1st except for June 13th and July 4th. If you would like the office to purchase the book for you, the cost is $9.

This book study will be helpful for those involved with the clothes closet and the food pantry, but beyond those ministries, it is my prayer that God would use this to better equip all of us to better serve one another and our community. If you are on the fence about committing to this course, make plans to attend the first meeting which is intended to exploratory in nature. For all those interested, please sign up on the bulletin board in the foyer by next Wednesday (May 3rd).

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).