Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:10-12
When hurricane Katrina blew ashore a lot of things went wrong. The news reports have been filled with horror stories telling those things. We’ve all heard how the levees went down, how some people in nursing homes were abandoned, how some patients in hospitals may have been euthanized, how the government didn’t react as quickly and as thoroughly as they might have, and how pillaging gangs prowled through the streets. Yes, a lot went wrong.
Indeed, a casual observer might quickly conclude nothing went right. If that’s what you have come to believe, a writer for Time, John J. DiIulio Jr., wants to set the record straight. He wants you to know that the reaction of the Christian community to the Katrina catastrophe was very right. In an article published on March 22nd, Mr. DiIulio says, “news stories, government reports and academic studies have confirmed, religious organizations were among the ‘first responders’ to respond well in the days after the storms hit. Since then, whether measured by volunteers mobilized, dollars donated, houses rebuilt or people counseled and consoled, national religious nonprofits have led the region’s recovery efforts.”
What Mr. DiIulio Jr. wrote is no shock to many of us. We know how some Lutheran pastors refused to leave their flocks, choosing instead to shepherd their people until the National Guard physically removed them. In the months that followed the Katrina calamity, we’ve watched the steady procession of volunteers who, having received love from their crucified and risen Savior, wish to reflect that love to those in need. We’re proud to know a multitude of people who: ‘Love one another with brotherly affection; who rejoice in hope, are patient in tribulation and constant in prayer.’
We know these things, but it’s still nice to have someone else say these things, even if it has taken more than a year-and-a-half for someone to say it.
Which is why the next time you hear someone say the Savior is a failure and His forgiven saints are hypocrites, or that all of society’s shortcomings are our shortfall, you can hold up your head and remember the Savior’s redeemed saints can sometimes get it right.
THE PRAYER: Dear heavenly Father, by Jesus’ substitution and sacrifice I have been saved from the sin which swirled around me. Now may I, in all I do, continue to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and constant in prayer. In Your Son’s name, I ask it. Amen.