Do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? . . . Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter! (1 Cor. 11:22)
Charles Feeney, born during the Depression to blue-collar parents, educated himself and developed a business so successful that it enabled him to give away over 8 billion dollars for human rights, healthcare, and education needs around the world. Charles was adamant about sharing his wealth and showing love to others by donating in secret. Though his net wealth was reduced to a pittance of what it was, his compelling calling was to practice agape love and to bless as he was blessed.
The text in 1 Corinthians describes how the early church came together for two communal dinners, the Agape Feast and the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper was for the taking of the bread and cup, while the feast was for families to pool their food and share in a time of agape love. However, the rich brought, and ate, their sumptuous food, while the poor, who shared the little they had, were left to eat their own offerings. This Scripture chastises those who shame others through snobbery and social division. Imagine if they had practiced the same sacrificial love and sharing that Charles Feeney showed!
The cross has reconfigured the barriers between those who have advantage and those who are disadvantaged among us. If we love as Christ loved us, we will choose to serve all, regardless of any race, ethnicity, status, and political or religious beliefs.
Be compelled to love others because Christ first loved us.
Susan Gordon is a wife, mom, and grammie who recently received her master’s degree at age 69. She enjoys art, photography, being active, and creation.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.