The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Human needs are first

It is for the 'least of these' that we act

The times in which we live can only be described as troubled. I don't know if these are the times that Jesus and Scripture speaks of in Matthew 24:3-14, but one thing is certain, the prophets Amos and Micah did prophesy about similar times and conditions. The issues arising from the current concentration of wealth and its effect on society beg the question of theological context in a 21st-century world.

The one piece of Scripture Christians must remember is Matthew 25:31-40. The simple works we do in advancing the Christian mission in the world is God's work. The politics of our times try to convince us that social Christian ministry is not fundamental, simply not what Christians are called to do.

The basic human needs of every society are food, shelter and clothing. But there are those who would deny these basic needs for economic and political gain while others struggle simply to maintain themselves with dignity. Is that God's desire and intention for creation? Scripture says "you cannot serve God and mammon" — i.e., riches, money, material possessions. The dignity of human existence is far greater than any amount of riches.

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