Break the chains

I apologise in advance if it is a bit long-winded but you have to go where the Spirit of God takes you. I was reading John Wesley’s sermon on visiting the sick and as I was reading it something began to weigh heavily on my heart. And I started to pray Lord what do you want me to say because I am an uneducated man. I sat at the keyboard and  without having time to think of what I wanted to say the words came to me. If my words which are not my words alone can convict someone and bring them into the presence of Jesus Christ and into that full communion with our Lord then my labours as limited as they are will not be in vain

The Reverend John Wesley wrote these words in his sermon on visiting the sick; Sermon 98 1786 made in Aberdeen

“One great reason why the rich, in general, have so little sympathy for the poor, is, because they so seldom visit them. Hence it is, that, according to the common observation, one part of the world does not know what the other suffers. Many of them do not know, because they do not care to know: they keep out of the way of knowing it; and then plead their voluntary ignorances an excuse for their hardness of heart. “Indeed, Sir,” said person of large substance, “I am a very compassionate man. But, to tell you the truth, I do not know anybody in the world that is in want.” How did this come to pass? Why, he took good care to keep out of their way; and if he fell upon any of them unawares “he passed over on the other side.” [cf. Luke 10:25-37]*

Collins and Vickers. The sermons of John Wesley. Abingdon Press:2013 Nashville pg 349

These words are as true today as when they were first written in 1786. We have so many people living in great need and these needs are seldom meet by those who hold high office because those who hold high office seldom meet those who are in greatest need. Rather they have carefully arranged meetings which have a tendency to avoid those who live on the lowest rungs of life’s ladder. Poverty is a form of slavery and it befits the wealthy to keep the poor bound and enslaved by their poverty. As Christians we have a duty to speak up for the poor and if we do not do it we fail in our duties to God and should we be called enemies of the state for speaking up for the poor and challenging those who hold high office let us bare that mantle with great joy. If we have to suffer great deprivations in advancing the cause of the poor let us suffer it joyfully. There is no greater duty that befalls a Christian than to take the hammer and strike the chains that bind, the chains that bind the distressed, the dejected, the depressed, the downtrodden and the disheartened and all who are enslaved by poverty and if we do it in the name of Jesus Christ he will protect us, for no power on earth is greater than the power of God. If we need to preach liberation of the poor then we better preach it.

” Who sets the prisoners free., and breaks the iron bondage from their necks”

I have often heard parliamentarians articulate how we must do something for the poor and indeed they do something for the poor, they make them poorer and we have definitely seen that over the last decade. I tell you now my brothers and sisters for them who would keep the poor in their state the wilderness awaits.

If we forget the person at the wayside, if we forget the depressed, if we forget the distressed, if we forget the dejected, if we forget the disillusioned, if we forget the downtrodden, if we forget the disheartened if we forget all these then we too will be forgotten and deservedly so.

So my dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus never forget the person at the wayside, never forget the depressed, never forget the dejected, never forget the disillusioned, never forget the downtrodden , never forget the disheartened. And I just want to finish by saying never forget

Never forget that the poor are our brothers and sisters also

One thought on “Break the chains

  1. Your post, thought citing and quoting Wesley, also reminds me of Pope Francis’s visit to the US a few years ago when he visited the US Congress and delivered a speech. (I happen to be BOTH Protestant AND Catholic (I am a bad Catholic, but I definitely hold Francis in high esteem)). Anyway, if you recall, Congress made all manner of welcome available to Francis and everyone sat attentively and LISTENED to him.

    All of this happened right before lunch. And though these world leaders wanted Francis to go have a power lunch with them, he chose to eat with an encampment of homeless people across the road from the Capitol building! Quite an image of a REAL SHEPHERD doing the REAL WORK of the TRUE SHEPHERD.

    Yes. He spent TIME with them. Got to KNOW them. And the whole thing impressed John Beohner, the Speaker of the House, and a devout Catholic and a leader in an increasingly staunch conservative Republican Party to actually quite Congress.

    Liked by 1 person

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