Jesus and I have our best conversations when I am driving. Sometimes, it is just me talking and venting. Often, it is me praying. But every so often, Jesus comes through the radio. Like today.
Driving to work this morning, I listened to a segment on Public Radio. It was an interview with Sam Quinones, the author of Dreamland and his latest release, The Least of Us. Both books feature stories about the opioid crisis in America. This morning, Sam shared why he called his latest book The Least of Us. Sam shared that he went to the Bible and he was reminded of how Jesus served the least in the society. The poor, the orphan, etc. And then he said that our society “was only as strong as the least of us.”
Bay Shore, I needed that reminder. Maybe you do, too. Our community here in the Greater Milwaukee area is only as strong as “the least.” Jesus taught this, we hear this on Sundays, and we know it is true—but it’s also easy to move on. But today, I couldn’t move on. Because today I also learned that 36% of Wisconsin’s 4th graders are reading below reading levels. And today I felt Jesus speaking through the radio, reminding me of why churches exist.
It’s to serve the least of us. Those who have needs, problems, issues, and adversities. It’s to be Jesus to the person who needs tutoring, clothing and other basic necessities. Jesus taught that we were only as strong as the least of us—and that to be first, we had to become last. When you think of it this way—if we are last, with our skills, education and privilege, then our society will finally be more equal and just for all. Because if we are last—just imagine how better our world will be for those who follow.
What areas that are least served can we fill and renew? Where can we use our gifts and skills and help others in the name of Christ?
As we ponder the future mission of Bay Shore through the Strategic Plan process, join me in being open to the where the Spirit is guiding us. Or what Jesus may be telling us when we least expect it. The world is changing, I know you can feel it. But the message of Jesus in its purest form, loving our neighbor, is constant and the world is desperate for this good news.
You’re in my prayers, Bay Shore.
Blessings and peace to you and your loved ones.