My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism…Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him? … If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself" you are doing right. James 2:1, 5, 8
During our Mississippi ministry, we lived in a neighborhood called “The Quarters.” We didn’t know what it meant, but we soon learned. It’s a derogatory Southern term still used to describe where the poorest black families live, a demeaning reference to “slave quarters.”
While we happily made our choice to live there, the judgment passed on the children we loved was hard to bear. “Quarters kids” inferred you were somehow “less” than whole—their families, homes, churches, their very neighborhood, bore a label which they learned to mean “substandard, less.” As we shared the story of our Savior’s birth—which some of them had never heard—we saw through their eyes the one who was born to poor parents in a lowly stable. They could identify with a Savior who knew what it was to be a “Quarters kid.”
During His Lenten journey, the children saw Jesus become the object of man’s hate and scorn. In Christ, God—who is rich in mercy—paid the full cost for their redemption. There were no bargain prices on Calvary. All are wholly forgiven, wholly loved. The children came to know that God adopts them through Jesus into His family, where they live in the richest neighborhood of all.
Prayer: Holy God, we know You show no favoritism. Open our eyes of love in Jesus' name. Amen.
Response: How can you reach out to those less fortunate in your community?
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)