Sunday, May 24, 2009

Definition of Emergency

Shaun Groves:

This past weekend – thanks to an e-mail from a blog reader – I listened to a sermon by Francis Chan (three times) called “Living To Display The Gospel” and was re-inspired by a new answer. In his message he told the story of how he decided to give away a large sum of money he earned. And he ended the story by saying that some people ask him if it’s wise to give it all away. “Shouldn’t you be more moderate in your generosity?” they essentially ask. “Shouldn’t you put some of it away in case of emergency?”

To which he answered, “Are you saying that what’s happening in ‘the developing world’ isn’t an emergency? …Oh, you mean an emergency that involves me. Because if it doesn’t involve me then it’s not a real emergency.”

He explained passionately and gently that God is not moderate in his generosity toward us. Jesus didn’t look at the mess on Earth and say, “Well those problems aren’t my problems so I’m staying out of it.” No, he gave all because he loved the whole world. Love says your emergency is our emergency and then it sacrifices without moderation to intervene. Love, Francis believes, doesn’t save a sum so large for it’s own future needs when someone else is in tremendous need right now.

Francis reminded me that moderation isn’t a bad thing but even moderation must be pursued in moderation. And it’s thrown out the window entirely in case of emergency. And all over the world, this is an emergency.

The emergency in Guatemala is this:

  • In 2008 there were 6,260 homicides in a country that has 12 million inhabitants. This means the murder rate in Guatemala is 45 per every 100,000. To put it into perspective, the United States has a rate of 5.6 per 100,000.  On average, 17 people a day are murdered in Guatemala. 
  • UNICEF is reporting that there could be as many as 340,000 orphans in Guatemala.  
  • More than half of Guatemala's 12 million people live on less than US $2 a day.

I don't want to live my life practicing "moderation".
I want my faith to be a verb, "an action word", as Emma would say.

36 hours until boarding time...


Unknown said...

Amen. I'm ashamed that the Christian community has turned their back for so long on others in need, but I feel that things are finally changing. I'm glad we're in this together friend! Can't wait to see you!!! Sarah

Sarah said...

That was me (Sarah) btw- I was logged on under an account for my church. Oops!