“Tree of Life.” Audubon Park, NOLA.
Sunset on Galveston Island, Texas.
This past week, I had the privilege of working in New Orleans with a group working to provide rehabilitative services and construct affordable housing for low income families.
The primary thing that I walked away with was a re-awareness of the power of Christ’s story of the Good Samaritan. It seems that I’ve been involved in fair amount of discussions about theology and metaphysical dilemmas lately. And I welcome that and thoroughly enjoy each and every such opportunity that comes my way. I think they are invaluable and an important part of faith, knowledge, and community.
Yet, it is the simplicity of Jesus that wins my heart everytime. “Do to the least of these…” It’s what makes the heroes of the faith so effective, what made Christ himself so arresting….and it is what summed up his life, death, and resurrection.
How much simpler religion would be if people put more time into putting his commandments into action. Indeed, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” I know the mantra is a tired one, but I have yet to see a church actively putting these words into action that doesn’t bear good fruit as a result. Lord knows I’ve seen far too many communities atrophy for failing to live out their faith with the deeds that James spoke of as absolutely essential…and picking up trash teaches us a humility that is always overdue and gives us an outward focus that breaks free of the narrow vision we all too easily fall into.
Us rock’n’roll kids at the Upper Room are selling a beautiful trombone to finance a relief trip to New Orleans this January. Check it out if you know anyone who might be interested.