We see what we want to see and our affluence and wealth can keep us from seeing even more. We roll up the windows in our car and zoom through the worst parts of town in order to avoid seeing the need around us. We can wall ourselves off for security and self-protection when we really are avoiding the pain and need of others.
To all our avoidance techniques, Jesus tells us this parable of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man is nameless, but Lazarus, with the oozing sores and the empty belly is known by name and borne on the wings of angels. Jesus makes us pay attention to our lack of attention to the need around us. How we love and do justice in life is measured and known by God. In our abundance, and our fear, we are challenged by God today to offer the cup of cold water now, and to invite the hungry to our groaning tables.
Today I ask God to help me set fear and anxiety aside so that I might see clearly. May we not overlook the needs around us and instead offer what we have for the love of our Creator. May we all be moved by God's compassion and love today to walk into our world and respond to those in need around us.
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.