Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Good News to the Poor
Today’s Gospel reading includes one of Jesus’ many parables about a feast and who is invited to join that feast. Jesus encourages humility and putting others ahead of ourselves. What might it look like if we put others ahead of ourselves in other areas of our lives, beyond wedding feasts? In Jesus’ words in Luke 4, quoted from the prophet Isaiah, we are encouraged to bring good news to the poor. It has been said, “If it’s not good news to the poor, it’s not good news.” How can we put the poor ahead of ourselves and our comforts, to ensure the good news we proclaim is—in fact—good for the poor?
Both Northern and Southern Provinces mark today as Public Education Sunday, a day when we pray for public schools and staff that help children in our neighborhoods have the skills, resources, and ability to flourish. Ensuring children have access to good education is one of the best ways we can help reduce poverty in our neighborhoods. In the US, before COVID over 29 million children, more than half the school population, received free or reduced lunch based on family income levels; this is a main way US poverty is measured. Some states’ numbers are much higher too. One in seven children in the US lived in food-insecure homes before the pandemic, and the number of children living in poverty has increased during the pandemic.
These children are our neighbors, whom we are called to love and care for. How might we put their needs first? How might we humble ourselves and place them at the head of the table? How can we live out our faith to make decisions that benefit them and ensure they have what they need to flourish?
Let us live a faith that does justice, loves kindness, and walks humbly with God every day, because that is a faith that is really good news to the poor.
Suzanne Parker Miller, Moravian pastor and executive director
Pastors for North Carolina Children