Look, an advertisement! — #1word5voices #rethinkchurch #40days #look

Look around you right now.  What do you see?  Think about your day so far today.  Was there anything out of the ordinary that popped out to you?

We live in a world bombarded with commercials and advertisements designed to get you interested in the NEXT. BIG. THING. that will change your life forever.  We’re saturated with them; some researchers estimate that we are exposed to 1,500 ads every day.  They slip in on Facebook, television, radio, and even in apps like Twitter or SnapChat!

Ads are effective, which is why there are so many.  They often get our attention, claim the content in our wallets, or direct our conversations we have around the water cooler.  (I’m still weirded out by that Nationwide commercial aired during the Super Bowl.)

Thinking about what we look at reminds me of those things we look past.  How often are we looking past those who are hurting?  How many times have you told someone how you’ve walked past someone in need and didn’t think about it until later?  How many times have you not known what to do?  I’m guilty like everyone else of blatantly refusing to make eye contact.  I mean, I might actually glimpse some of their pain!

James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

day 2 - lookThe Brilliance capture this sentiment God has for the orphans, widows, and least of these in their song “Does Your Heart Break?”  I couldn’t help but put a lot of their lyrics up–they’re too good.

When the walls fell / And the hungry child / Cried out for help

Did you hear the sound? / Did your heart break? / Does your heart break now?

Cannot feel it in my soul / Cannot see you I’m alone / Can the blind have sight, have sight?

When you see us all alone / Can you hear your people Lord? / Can the blind have sight, have sight?

The world is burning as you’re standing by / Are you watching, as your children die? / Did your heart break? / Does your heart break now?

If you’re up for seeing what God is saying to you during this season, don’t forget what God has already told us.  Take care of the least of these.  The orphans, the widows.  Look after people who need looking after.  They are in your church.  We pass them by on the street.  They are even accessible through the interwebs.

Does your heart break for them?  Don’t let yourself become calloused, just because there is so much need in the world.  It can be overwhelming, yes.  But you can make a difference for one person.

Maybe you aren’t around those in need.  (You probably aren’t seeing hard enough or aren’t really looking.)  There are amazing organizations like World Vision, Compassion International, Go Project, Habitat for Humanity, or Children’s HopeChest that can help you reach out, both locally and globally.  Build a friendship with someone who doesn’t fit the demographic advertisers put you into.  Take a step of faith and look for where God might be leading you.

We are right at the beginning of Lent.  Use this time to be more attentive.  Look around you for the least of these.  Maybe you’ve been raised up to make a difference somehow!


The other #1word5voices crew are reflecting about during Lent, too!  Read their stuff: Shawn, Lindsay Evans, Heather Kostelnick, and Stephanie Mutert.

Lent 2015 -- large graphic*The art featuring James 1:27 was made by a student or adult from Woods Chapel UMC’s student ministry.  [I forgot who, though I have a good guess.]  I’m blessed to be around amazing people like them!


About Brian Swanson

Christ follower. Screw up. Stained with grace. Ruined by Jesus.
This entry was posted in #1Word5voices, justice, Lent, missions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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