In RE we’ve looked at two parables, the Good Samaritan and the Unforgiving Servant where Jesus told stories with the lessons that we should help whoever needs help, no matter who they are and not make excuses, and that if you want people to help you then you should be prepared to help others.
These aren’t the only two instances where Christians are told about the importance of giving to those in need, however – there are lots of places in the Bible which tell the same message.
Book of Luke: Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Book of Hebrews: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Book of John: But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?
Book of Proverbs: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.
Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.
Book of Acts: In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Lots of passages there about charity – this idea of helping your neighbour and providing charity has a special term ‘agape’, Christians view charitable acts as a type of love, love towards your neighbour as taught by Jesus in the Good Samaritan (and elsewhere in the Bible).
Here’s your task – we’re going to look at how Christians today put this idea into action. There are lots and lots of Christian charities. Can you find out about what they do around the world to show the Christian idea of ‘agape’? Some charities you might want to look at;
The Bethany Project
Christians Against Poverty
This isn’t a complete list and you’ll be able to find many more!