Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 6 The LORD lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.

When I read v. 5 I ask myself, “For what does God use his abundant power?” to which v. 6 replies “The Lord lifts up the downtrodden…”. Over and over scripture reveals God’s concern for the brokenhearted, the poor, the marginalized. We see it again in today’s reading from Zechariah:

Zechariah 7:8 The word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying: 9 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another; 10 do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the alien, or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. 11 But they refused to listen, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears in order not to hear.

One of the things I most appreciate about the holiday season is the focus on supporting people in various kinds of need. There are people who struggle with low income, with disability or illness, with emotional trauma of various kinds. Like many churches across the country, the church I lead in suburban Dallas participates in the Angel Tree ministry which provides toys and gifts for children in foster care. It’s sad how many such children there are, especially during the holidays when stress and anxiety in families is particularly high.

The picture you see above is of Misty, the member of our church who coordinated this ministry for us. Here she is delivering gifts on our behalf. I love the joy on her face, which I can tell you is very genuine. There is something wonderful that happens when we open ourselves to serve others. I pray the Lord is giving you ways to serve those in need wherever you live. Lord, let it be so. Amen.


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