December 7

Zephaniah 3:17-20

“I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.” vs. 19

In the course of his hopeful reassurances Zephaniah returns to a familiar theme, one that runs through all of the prophetic writings of our scripture. He believed, beyond question, that the Lord had a particular concern for the needy and the outcast, and that they would most certainly be included in any future restoration. That basic conviction has continued to be at the core of the Jesus Movement in nearly all of its manifestations, both liberal and conservative. We all have a basic understanding that we should be providing assistance to the oppressed and the hurting. And because we have demonstrated that conviction in the past, at this time of year we are being deluged with requests for charitable contributions–scarcely a day goes by without a heartfelt mailing from some organization asking for our gifts. It’s good that this is happening! It’s our Advent reminder to give generously and often! Of course we can’t give to all those who are asking, and sometimes it’s a challenge to figure out where our money should be directed. But we do it! It’s what the people of God do! We do our research and find the agency whose mission most closely identifies with our own. In the process we rediscover the ancient truth: it feels good to give!

Thought for the Day: Where will my Advent contributions be directed?

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