Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Whose Image?

One of the good aspects of the terrible disaster in the Gulf is how the church has been at the forefront of offering effective help to those worst affected. Secular journalists recognized on television and in print the tremendous contributions of churches and church organizations like the Salvation Army. At the same time, the efforts of the federal, state and local governments came under heavy criticism. The work of the Federal Emergency Management Administration was particularly bad. But there they were, church members, getting the relief work done. Millions of dollars of donations were turned into food, water and clothing for those who had lost everything.

Consider all the churches and Christian agencies that have and are still offering help: The Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Quakers, America’s Second Harvest, Baptist World Aid, Catholic Charities, Christian Children’s Fund, Christian Reformed World Relief, Church World Service, Episcopal Relief and Development, Feed the Children, Food for the Hungry, Habitat for Humanity, Interchurch Medical Assistance, Lutheran Disaster Response, Mennonite Disaster Service, Operation Blessing, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the Southern Baptist Convention, United Methodist Committee on Relief, World Relief and World Vision. This is only a partial list.

The inscription on our coinage is “In God We Trust,” and given the outpouring of financial gifts from God’s people all over America and I would guess the world, I would say that for those adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina, their trust has been shown to be well placed. The inscription on the coinage in the Roman Empire of Christ’s day was significantly different, as we will see.

Matthew 22:15-22


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