None excluded, all can come to God’s table, but some cannot because of circumstances. We say they are not like us. God does not exclude; it’s entirely a human notion.
Inviting a Kenyan-Anglican-African-Bishop to preach in the United States in 2007, he asked, 'how much time do I have to preach'? 20 minutes I said, to which he said, ‘Man I have not warmed up yet. Said he, if I preached a sermon in Africa for 20 minutes, it would cause a riot. They, he said, get up at 5:00 AM in the morning and in some cases walk 5 to 10 miles with no shoes to church. They come clinging to hope. He called them Servants Without Shoes.
What is called survival in America is taking half of the electric-bill and paying the water bill; not being able to buy a brand name pair of shoes; this is not survival, we are blest in this land.
SURVIVAL is a family of 8 whose address is hovering under a tree tonight; tomorrow their address is a little further in the distance.
SURVIVAL is picking off the ground to find whatever you can to eat
SURVIVAL is the using the same water where waste is thrown and you drink from it
SURVIVAL is seeing a lion or cheetah in the distance and wonder, will you be his dinner.
To those who walk 5 to 10 miles to church, they like us, hold on to God’s promises, but circumstances in Africa, Eastern Europe and some Latin America countries make this a difficult task, yet they press on hoping that one day it will all end. Sadly, to some death is a relief.
The Scriptures reminds us that we are our brother’s keeper, and those who have much should lend a hand of love wherever needed. Prayer should be the essential part of this, but prayer without works is dead, words without action is just another speech.
Withstanding all the perils, these unfortunates give of their best to the church. If a pastor calls and say there is work to be done, they show up, not for pay, but to do as much as they can. Jesus talked of the woman who gave 2 pennies, Peter lamented (perhaps in disgust), WHAT IS TWO PENNIES? Jesus told him “SHE GAVE ALL SHE HAD”.
Church in the USA & some of Europe sometimes looks like a fashion show (if they attend). Yet the aforementioned find the strength to show up in the very clothes that they slept in or have worn all week, this is SURVIVAL. Jesus reminds us to “bear one another burden”. Reaching out to others is a good beginning. We must lend a hand when and wherever to those who are less fortunate; they are truly SERVANTS WITHOUT SHOES.