|Finding Love in Charity|
|Sunday, March 20 2011|
Charity is Love
Throughout the New Testament, love is preached as a basic tenet of our faith. We are called to love God. We are called to love one another. We are even called to love our enemies. Love is at the center of our faith, and it guides us on our journey. In Colossians 3, we are told about the importance of "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." These are solid virtues, but there is one greater.
"And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection" - Colossians 3:14 NAB
Everything we are and everything we hope to be depends on love. What kind of love? Romantic love? The love a parent has for a child? No, it is the love we show in charity. In some translations of the New Testament, such as the King James Version, the word love used in this verse is actually translated as charity. Christ taught us to love our neighbors. Here, we are hearing the same message.
There are a number of ways to show charity to one another. It begins by finding our gifts and talents. Some people are born to speak, write, bake, organize, mentor, teach, and the list goes on. Once we find our talent, we simply need to act. But, this is where many begin to stumble. We begin to feel like we cannot do it. We start to make excuses. We see others helping in so many ways, and we do not feel like we could compare. It's over before it began.
Recently, a loved one was involved with a charity. She had a heart for the poor, and she decided to help with a local homeless ministry. After volunteering, they offered her a position to help with a local fundraising event. It was exactly the type of opportunity that she was waiting for, but then she got scared. She started to question if she could really make a difference. Determined, she decided to move forward. She made a few phone calls, and things began rolling. The youth ministry at her church even asked her to speak in front of 500 people! And, the fear came back again.
Did she give up? In one moment, she was afraid that no one would respond. In the next, the response was overwhelming. Humble, she did not know if she was capable of pulling it off, but she put it in God's hands. It still may be a few weeks to see how things turn out, but I would guess that everything is going to be okay. If we act out of love, and we put it in God's hands, only good things can happen.
We are not all called to the Holy Order, but we are all called to charity. Christ asks us to love one another, to give charity to one another. Although we may doubt our own capabilities, Christ's love is infinite, and we only need to allow Him to work through us. Whether you spend time helping out the homeless, or you bake a cake for the bake sale, the act of love and charity that you show will show the world the love Christ has for all of us.