One of the things this sermon series in John’s Gospel has taught me is how significant it is that Jesus prepares a perfect home for us. Our earthly homes reflect a spiritual reality and longing for our perfect home in heaven. It also shows why homelessness is one of the most devastating experiences a person can encounter.
The reality for many in Hong Kong is a state of homeless and poverty. With more than 1000 registered street sleepers by government statistics and many more unregistered, it reflects a deep problem that we have in our society. Hong Kong has one of the world’s largest wealth gaps with more than 1.4 million people designated poor and a poverty rate of 21.4% according to 2019 figures.*
Jesus’ followers are called to care for the poor in their midst. One of the ways the early church impacted the Roman world was its care for the poor; not just their own poor, but also the poor outside their own communities. A heart for the poor reflects God’s heart (Proverbs 31:9). Jesus encouraged his disciples saying, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor” (Luke 12:23).
One of the incredible examples of generosity to the poor was the Macedonian churches. Paul tells the Corinthians that ‘in the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity’ (2 Cor 8:2). How was it that they were so eager to give to others despite their own poverty? They knew about the riches they had in Jesus. Paul says, ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich’ (2 Cor 8:9). Knowing the riches that we have in Jesus emboldens us to give generously.
St Andrew’s is proud to partner with St Barnabas’ Society & Home. We’ll hear about their ministry this Sunday during our monthly mission spot. St Barnabas’ was formed in 1987 to reach out to street sleepers, the poor, and homeless. They minister to those with addiction, mental health issues, and crippling poverty. St Barnabas Society & Home lives Jesus’ vision out by providing both spiritual and material aid to the poor.
Please prayerfully consider how you could support the work of St Barnabas Society & Home and care for the needs of those in our midst.
*all stats from news.gov.hk