One of the great things that we as Orthodox Christians can learn from the Protestants and even Roman Catholics is their great evangelical outreach to those communities in need. Whether they are ministering to those in prison, or serving meals at the local homeless shelter, the always seem to be there. Where are our Orthodox Churches? Why are we not more involved with taking care of the needs of the world around us?
This has been one area that I wish we could help to change and to be able to get the word out to our Parishes and communities that this is not just the work of Protestants and Catholics, but also all the faithful. We are called to care for our fellow man, no matter where we find him. This needs to be a part of our bigger picture for this community as we continue to develop and create a more Orthodox Christian centric world.
Getting involved may be one of the easiest things that we could do and one that is in the most needed these days. As I drive in and around the city of Seattle Washington in the U.S. I can’t help but to find people living on the streets and under the freeways. How did we become like this? Why are we not caring enough for these people and reach out and give them a helping hand if we can? The thought of the struggles of these people makes me weep for our souls that are hardened by pride to the struggles of our neighbors.
While there are many reasons that people become or choose to be homeless, it is a growing concern the world over. We are all made in the image and likeness of God, and we should care for one another as though we were receiving Christ into our homes. Praying for these folks who have fallen on hard times and remembering them during the Divine Liturgy before the Throne of God can help, but ministering or helping them directly will do more to change their lives than anything else.
As we continue to grow this community and we start to focus on how we can change things in our local Parishes and communities, think about how you could help someone in need. It is important to remember we could all be where they are, or maybe we have been there, and have forgotten what it was like to not have a roof over our head at night, or money to buy food for our children. As a community and as a movement we can help to change the minds of those around us by making sure that we do all we can to help.
I encourage all of my brothers here to find the strength to look around yourself and see where you could help bring comfort to those in need, or minister to those that may not have heard the Word of God due to being in prison. We can make a difference, and it all begins with us. Will you make that difference today?