(Jesus said) "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation." Matthew 23:14
With those words in Matthew 23, Jesus came down pretty heavy on folks who pick on others who are hard pressed to protect and defend themselves.
To help the helpless -- maybe that's part of the reason why Jesus went out of His way to reach out to the lepers and tax collectors. He knew if they were going to be given assistance, He was the One who would have to do it.
Apparently, the people in Weston, Missouri, feel the same way.
In October, one of their own, Marine Sergeant C.J. Sadell, was killed in an ambush which took place in Afghanistan. Recently, his body was brought home for burial.
Sadly, a group from Westboro Baptist Church decided they would disrupt and picket the funeral. It was something the group has done before -- with painful and embarrassing consequences.
This time Westboro didn't fare so well. The people of Weston, joined by hundreds who had come from as far away as Australia, decided nobody was going to pick on their widow and her fatherless children.
To prevent the protesters from having easy access to the funeral, people parked their cars in a way which took up all the available spots. Then, while half the folks made a human shield at the funeral home, the others lined the intersection where the funeral procession had to drive.
Way to go people of Weston! Without violence or verbal harangues you have taken a stand to protect those who needed your assistance. It was a brilliant show of community spirit, a solid Christian example, and a witness to what can be done to make a difference when people set their minds to it.
It is an example that other Christians may wish to emulate. All of our communities have those who need assistance, and there is no group more qualified to give that assistance than those from the Christian Church. After all, did Jesus not assist each one of us? Did not He help us when we were helpless? Is He not, even now, protecting us from those forces which desire to hurt us?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in appreciation for Jesus and all He has done and following the example He has given, may I assist as many as I can, as often as I can, as much as I can. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries