December 08 2008
As the body of Christ, we serve a living God who is here right now doing real work in people like you and me. For the three days after Calvary, the disciples faced overwhelming despair. The Light of the World, their Messiah and Savior, their King, their Christ, Jesus of Nazareth was scorned and crucified. They “ had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”, but with the reality of Calvary before their eyes, they were utterly without hope. If the Christ had been slain by men, what chance was there for them? How glorious is the truth though! That God used the single greatest sin for His good. Although the two on the Emmaus road did not see it, on the cross Jesus was at the center of His Father’s will. The realization of the greatest hope of all, the death of death, was only possible by the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. “He died so that we may live.” On the Emmaus road, Christ came alongside those who were in need, in desperate need of hope.
The hunger for hope has never been greater than it is today at this moment. Bangladesh opened my eyes to what it means for a person to be truly poor. True poverty is having the overwhelming abundance of hunger without having any food. It’s a physical hunger for something to eat, it’s a social hunger for the respect and decency of your neighbor, it’s a material hunger to provide for and bless those who you love, and more than all it’s a spiritual hunger for hope. Like a hole with an ever sinking bottom, the hunger, the need, cries out to be satisfied, to be filled. Young girls sold into prostitution by their parents so they can buy food, a little boy beaten to death for stealing an apple in a market, a bride kicked to death by her husband, judges bribed to condemn the innocent to death, whole congregations murdered out of hatred, this is what comes from a world without hope.
Even in the midst of so much despair and misery, there is hope and joy. Standing in a church in the presence of hundreds of little ones, abandoned or taken from their parents out of desperation or disease, is a beautiful experience. The joy and love of Christ becomes tangible when the children lift their voices to praise their God. Left behind by the world, they are still joyful because they love Jesus. Wow. The Christian Service Society, CSS, is working to express the love and joy of Christ to the suffering in Bangladesh. Not only with the orphanages, but with educational programs, medical care and financial aid, the care is comprehensive and open to everyone regardless of what village they call home or to whom they pray to. CSS exemplifies what it means to be the body of Christ living out the faith every day.
by Josh Mears, a young pre-med student at MIT, Boston