Monday, December 22, 2008

Another Stellar Analysis by Tim Keller

Ok, I admit it: I’m prepared to stand in front of group and say out loud, “Hello, my name is Michael and I’m a Tim Keller fan-boy.”

My latest excuse for imbibing? Check out this essay on the way the gospel should inform our thinking about the poor.

Here’s a taste (the article's conclusion):
“Proverbs tells us that God identifies with the poor. "If you do it to the poor, you do it to me." Matt 25 says the same thing. I showed above that this means that on judgment day God will be able to judge a person's heart attitude toward him by the person's heart-attitude toward the poor. It also means, however, something more profound.

In Proverbs and Matt 25, God identifies with the poor symbolically. But in the incarnation and death of Jesus, see God identifies with the poor and marginal literally. Jesus was born in a feeding trough. At his circumcision Jesus' family offered what was required of the poor (Luke 2:24). He said, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head" (Matt 8:20). At the end of his life, he rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey, spent his last evening in a borrowed room, and when he died, he was laid in a borrowed tomb. They cast lots for his only possession, his robe, for there on the cross he was stripped of everything.

All this gives new meaning to the question: "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or naked or in prison?" The answer is—on the cross, where he died amidst the thieves, among the marginalized. No wonder Paul could say that once you see Jesus becoming poor for us, you will never look at the poor the same way again.”

In my opinion, convicting, enlightening, profound. Like they say, read the whole thing.


T Boyd said...

Michael, neat excerpt. Amazing that I was just reading and thinking about this last night and this morning. It stemmed from reading part of Francis Schaeffer's book, The Church at the End of the 20th Century in the chapter "Revolutionary Christianity".

In the chapter he turns to some practical things that the believers can do to help awaken the church:

"What about the specific things we can do, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to make the church come alive for today--and tomorrow?
"Open your Home for Community. Don't start a big program....Start personally and start in your homes....begin by opening your home for community...and there is no place in God's world where there are no people who will come and share a home as long as it is a real home....
"...This is the admonition to the elder--that he must be given to hopsitality. Are you an elder? Are you given to hospitality? If not, keep quiet. There is no use talking. But you can begin...."

Recommended reading!

May the Lord richly bless you as we celebrate His birth that brought the true light into the world.


Jamie said...

Do you want to go with us to feed the homeless on New Year's Eve? You could bring your guitar and sing for us all. Happy Birthday next week!!