“My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick. Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: ‘Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her? The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.’ For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?”
Jeremiah 8, Wednesday, the Reading, the Daily Office Book, Year One
When I consider the state of the nation, the world and Christianity, there are times when joy runs from me like a stream running downhill, where I find my heart is broken and I know bitter tears. The suffering of the poor is all around us, the cries of the sick call out to us for help and the chance for healing. Yet, what is the greatest concern of our nation, superficial morality, money and tax cuts? What is Christianity obsessing over? Trying to pick specks of dust from each other’s eye with broom handles, it seems. Where is the LORD in us, where is the King? Yet, I return to prayer, to God’s compassionate wisdom, I return to the Gospel and look around. The Church is active, the Church is alive, and the Body of Christ is reaching out to all, with compassion, towards all his works. How do we find the Church? Wherever there is compassion and mercy, there is the Church. Christ is in the compassion. Being “Christian” and “Christianity” means many things to many people, yet, wherever people are caring for the sick, the poor, the forgotten and alone, the outcasts and oppressed, wherever the prisoners are being cared for, that is where God is, and that is where the true Church, the Body of Christ, is to be found.