The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Sharing humanity with poor

Then we can see in others the created image of God

Poverty. When we begin there, I suspect we will focus on abstract economic conditions. We may turn to income levels to define when a person or household is deemed to be poor.

But what happens when we begin by talking with people who are experiencing poverty? (See "A glimpse of what's happening at home.") Then our starting place is our shared humanity. Then we can see in others the created image of God. God's own inner relationship as Father, Son and Holy Spirit means we are created to be a community with one another and in relationship with God.

I do become concerned when we talk about those in poverty as if they were not worshiping with us, working beside us or serving alongside us. Or when we talk as if they were not members with us in the household of God but only recipients, the objects of our serving.

What has been your experience living in poverty or listening to someone who is? What is it like to pray "Give us today our daily bread" when your shelves are empty?

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