Theme: The Lord lifts up the Poor
Psalm 113:7 – He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.
Psalm 146:7-9 – He upholds … the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD gives sight to the blind …”
Proverbs 31:8-9 – “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves … defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Luke 6:20 – “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
Where did poverty begin and why does God allow poverty?
According to …
“I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.’ To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life… By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
“And Allah hath favored some of you above others in provision.” (An-Nahl: 71) Poverty and wealth are challenges or tests for mankind.
The Buddha said to the monks, “Behold monks, poverty is a cause of suffering in the world”. While Buddhism promotes non-attachment to material goods, it does not encourage poverty as defined by not having enough to eat, decent shelter and good health.
Hindu temples promote charitable and other community activities to serve the poor. Still, the highest praise in Hindu history has gone not so much to the generous as to those who regard wealth with indifference and are able, when the proper stage of life arrives, to renounce all their belongings.
Teacher, you know those people that live on the street and ask other people for money?
Yes, you mean the homeless people or sometimes they are called beggars or panhandlers.
Well, I am confused.
When my mom sees those people, she gives them money.
But when my dad sees those people, he doesn’t give them money.
Well Jane, have you ever asked them why they act differently towards homeless people.
Mom says it is our Christian duty to help the poor.
Dad says giving money to the poor only makes them lazy.
Well there are some people that do not like to work and think it is easier to just ask people to give them money. But most people that are poor, do not like being poor and they are not poor because they are lazy.
What does it mean to be poor?
- To have no or little money.
- To have no home to live in.
- To not have enough to eat.
- To not be able to afford health care.
Why are some people poor?
- Mental or physical illness and inability to hold a job or work.
- Some people have lost jobs because the companies they worked for went out of business or had to downsize.
- Lack of education. Some people can’t get jobs because they cannot read or write.
- Natural disasters. Some people have lost their homes and possession to natural disasters, like a big hurricane or floods. People that are farmers and make their living selling the food they grow may have a season/time when their crops don’t grow properly or die because of insects that eat the crops.
- Inequality. In some countries, men get the jobs before women do.
Poverty can be a vicious cycle … no money to pay for school, no education no job, no job no money to pay for shelter.
How can we help people that are poor?
First, remember that the poor are Gods children, like you me. Therefore, they should be treated with respect and not made fun of.
Second, remember that some poor and homeless people are mentally ill. Therefore you should not approach a homeless person without your parent or guardian.
Third, remember that the church helps homeless people, so if you want to give money to a homeless person, it would be better/safer/more useful to give it to the church as a donation on Sunday.
There are homeless children too. So, with your parents help, you can give clothes that you don’t wear anymore to the church or to homeless shelters.