MARTIN LUTHER: LOOK AT YOUR OWN LIFE
“Know that to serve God is nothing else than to serve your neighbor and do good to him in love, be it child, wife, servant, enemy, friend; without making any difference, whoever needs your help in body or soul, and wherever you can help in temporal or spiritual matters. This is serving God and doing good works.
“O Lord God, how do we fools live in this world, neglecting to do such good works, though in all parts of the world we find the needy, on whom we could bestow our good works; but no one looks after them nor cares for them.
“But look to your own life. If you do not find yourself among the needy and the poor, where the Gospel shows us Christ, then you may know that your faith is not right and that you have not yet tasted of Christ’s benevolence and work for you.”
While Luther’s message to the Church can be summarized as “salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone,” he rightly exhorts us, as recipients of Christ’s benevolence, to serve the needy. We are to help with “temporal or spiritual matters,” which means aiding those who are suffering some personal crisis and those who may need our help spiritually.
What about you? As a recipient of divine mercy, do you find yourself among the hurting, materially and/or spiritually? Or do you buffer yourself from such people? Open your calendar. How do you spend your time? Mark one thing you can do next week to place yourself among the temporally or spiritually needy.
Gary G. Hoag
To read more from Lent Companion by Gary G. Hoag, please visit https://www.gtp.org/resources/ebooks/lent-companion.