iHenry Nouwen answered it this way:
"Who Is My Neighbour? We often respond to that question by saying: "My neighbours are all the people I am living with on this earth, especially the sick, the hungry, the dying, and all who are in need." But this is not what Jesus says. When Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan (see Luke 10:29-37) to answer the question "Who is my neighbour?" he ends the by asking: "Which, ... do you think, proved himself a neighbor to the man who fell into the bandits' hands?" The neighbour, Jesus makes clear, is not the poor man laying on the side of the street, stripped, beaten, and half dead, but the Samaritan who crossed the road, "bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them, ... lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him." My neighbour is the one who crosses the road for me."
Let me ask you this:
Who is your neighbor and have you gone out of your way to care for him or her?
We would rather be ruined than changed,
We would rather die in our dread
Than climb the cross of the moment
And let our illusions die.
--W.H. Auden, "The Age of Anxiety"
It is easy to make a wish. It is not so easy to accept the truth that comes with the granting of that wish to life. We want a better world, safer streets, kinder neighbors, well-behaved children, food in our stomach, money in the bank, roof over our head. All the stuff we have been promised already in our past is ours right now in the present. To take it, grab it by its life and embrace it for all that it has to offer, requires transformation. Change in the way we trust, have faith, approach our neighbors, family and friends, and so on. Without it, well, we will just continue to live in our ruin. Auden's words give us a starting point for transformation: "climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die."
Give a drink to the thirsty. It could be a water bottle you keep in the car or the living water in the well of your heart. There are people who are thirsty for both.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
Many have wonder if God truly exists and if so where would God be in such a violent world. But the world today is no more violent then the world of our history and yet God was present. Yet many of my griends feel God, if there is such a thing, has abandoned the world. But i disagree. I would argue that to see God one must first know where to look. That is not to say just in the Bible, which is a good place to begin,but to look outside the box and see God in the beauty that surrounds every square inch of life. I, like many before me, believe God reveals God in all aspects of creation. Many faithful Christians believe this knly reduces God to an informal and impersonal relationship. But again I disagree. Jesus taught whenever you see someone in need you also see God. I would push that way of thinking as far out of the box to include our environment; making it all the more important for us to protect this great creation and care for everything that is in it. Why? Because God is there. We are called to glorify God always, not simply once a week during a worship service. Always and everywhere we are called to glorify and give thanks because God is always and everywhere.
In his book The Three Faces of Jesus: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims See Him, Josef Imbach writes, "Again and again the orthodox Jew asks himself this question; Where can God be found? The Hasidic Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Kozk (1783-1859) has given an answer that is worth reflection: "Whereever one invites him to come,he is there."
I think that is a worthy thought to ponder while seeking to find God in a violent world.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”