They are a motley crew. Yet, I believe they have something far too precious and priceless than many of us have. What something you ask? Camaraderie. This melodious word that busies your tongue and rolls off your lips is defined as “a feeling of close friendship and trust among a group of people.”
What are they? Motley (defined as “people or things that are very different from one another and do not seem to belong together”) and crew (a group of people who spend much time together or are somehow associated with one another).
Who are they? I am speaking about a group of people who are unseen, ignored and invisible to the human heart of general society. They are the downtrodden. The homeless. The hopeless. The misfits. The invisibles. The castaways. The unwanted. The unclean. Yet, amazingly they have learned how to be truly “real” with one another. They don’t hide behind facades of expectations and status quo that blankets our societies with false securities, keeping us under cover and suffocating us in darkness. On the contrary, they huddle together in inclement weather and know one another’s names and circumstances. They don’t judge one another, but rather understand one another. Their homes are not in the suburbs but most likely at a homeless shelter, or under a viaduct, on a bus bench, on a sidewalk, behind a dumpster or in make-shift cardboard boxes. Yet, they call these places “home” and appreciate their meager possessions. Now, who do you believe the richer? Most likely, they are.
They come from all different walks of life and are outcasts, yet they weigh heavily on and are cared deeply by Jesus as we see in Isaiah 61:1-3:
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor
During the Christmas season, it’s not unusual to hear messages of “giving” and “loving” towards the less fortunate. The season moves the hearts of people to be charitable. But, does this mean that we should open up our homes to the homeless and bring in thieves, prostitutes and drug addicts? This is a hard question. Yet, the answer comes from another question…what would Jesus do?
Well, what did Jesus do? I believe that although God will call some of us to literally open our homes to the motley crews of society, Jesus wasn’t so much about “where” we minister, but rather “that” we minister. The saying, “home is where the heart is” allows us to take our hearts and bring a sense of “home” to people without hope and those living on the streets. Because Jesus is in our hearts, we can bring Jesus and his love to the unfortunates. This will please him. In Matthew 25:37-40 we are told:
37 "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Jesus, we know, was born in a lowly manger and during his three years of ministry HE was homeless:
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Matthew 20:8
No wonder Jesus has such an aching heart and great understanding for the motley crews of this world. So, what will we do? As for me and you, my prayer is that we all shall too.
Merry and Blessed Christmas!
(All scripture from New International Version)
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