Welcoming the Poor and Outcast
Easter is my favorite holiday. It gives me more hope than Christmas, more love than Valentine’s day and more joy than my birthday. It is the culminating celebration of Christianity, wrapped up in a holiday focused on the most sacrificial and powerful acts imaginable: dying for someone else, and overcoming sin and death.
This year I read through Matthew 21 during Holy Week (between Palm Sunday and Easter), and was struck by Jesus’ actions following his “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem. Jesus is a different kind of king. Instead of entering Jerusalem on a tall white steed and wearing a gold crown, he awkwardly rides in on a borrowed, baby donkey. Instead of entering the city to conquer the Romans and empower Jewish citizens, he enters the city planning to die at the hands of the Romans and empower all of humanity.
After being welcomed into the city by a large crowd, Jesus’ first act is to head to the temple. Not to pray or give a sermon, but to drive out hypocrites and welcome the poor and outcast. As Matthew 21:14 describes, “The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.” Jesus didn’t love fame and wealth; he loved the outcast and disenfranchised. He loved the poor. He loved the broken. He loved the sick. His love is the justice that Jerusalem needed, and our world continues to cry out for it today.
In the cross we find redemption, reconciliation and mercy. In the empty grave we find hope, life and empowerment. And in the life of Jesus we find justice, healing and love. May we be a people that love through justice and sacrifice in the way of Jesus.
“Let us ask God to make us true in our love, to make us sacrificial beings, for sacrifice is love put into action.”
-Elizabeth of the Trinity.
Church Leader Training
Our ServLife church planters in Nepal desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, welcoming the poor and outcast into the family of God. Despite the adversity and trials they face, they have been joined by others that not only share in community, but leadership as well.
In March, over a dozen of these church leaders concluded one month of training on how to assist their pastor and minister to their neighbors. The students gathered from all over Nepal for the training in Kathmandu. They covered a variety of topics including the church, servant leadership, evangelism and discipleship, the great commission and our responsibilities, basic theology, inductive bible study, spiritual warfare, our identity in Christ, our spiritual life and more.
“Our training is going well by God’s grace,” reports ServLife Himalayan Development Director, Lazarus Thulung. “Every Friday we bring them in the mission field to share the Gospel personally.”
The leaders have now returned to their villages and towns to fully engage their communities and partner with their pastors in caring for the church and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Your financial gifts and continued monthly support make this training school possible. Thank you for partnering to equip Nepali Christians to share the Gospel and support their pastors.
Make me understand your ways, O Lord! Teach me your paths!” Psalm 25:4