Our Scriptures this week have much to do with vanity and greed. Ecclesiastes warns us against the illusions that vanity can produce, and in Luke's Gospel, Jesus warns us against storing up wealth at the expense of one's soul. These are tough lessons to hear, and even tougher to live. The point is that our goal shouldn't be to live for the acquisition of bigger and better things if it means we neglect the needy.
There is so much need in our zip code of 75243. Not a week goes by without at least three or four people knocking on our doors for some type of assistance. Many stories are heartbreaking. A young woman with six children evicted from her apartment. The man whose diabetic wife couldn't work and was short on rent. The lady with no insurance with a hole in her roof and no hot water since the recent storm. The Afghan family who arrived in Dallas with only the clothes on their backs. I could go on and on.
When people came to Jesus hungry, he fed them. We at Ascension are doing our best to be like Jesus. We will be taking lasagnas to Austin Street on Saturday, August 3, at 5:30 p.m., and we will be making an extra food pantry shopping trip this week to restock bare shelves. In addition, we want to connect with local refugee assistance agencies to offer help with resettlement. But we must move forward with a wise plan, not one which one author refers to as "toxic charity." Please consider how you might get involved in helping us help others. Cash assistance is great, but in the spirit of Invite-Welcome-Connect, how might you make it your personal mission and ministry? That was Jesus' way.