Good cheer, forgiveness, love, joy, and charity abounds during the Christmas season!! Reality or illusion?
A few days ago a neighbor shared with me that his landlord had served him notice to vacate the home he had been renting from him for the past several years. Why? Because he was short a mere $90 for the rent. Unfortunately this neighbor had been late for the past few months due to the economy, however by the end of the month, he always paid in full. The landlord outright owns the property in addition to several other properties in the area including commercial property. The landlord is not hurting financially.
Earlier this year, this neighbor lost his wife – she sadly lost her battle with cancer on Valentine’s Day. Naturally our neighbor mourned and fell into a deep depression. Dealing with the loss, his own business faltered and his meager savings dwindled to a zero balance. Although he resumed his business and masked his pain with hard work, he fell behind on paying rent in his traditional timely manner.
Many in the neighborhood pitched in to assist him with every day life necessities bringing him home-cooked meals, gifts, and business, however the Scrooge-landlord started harassing him on a monthly basis. And then of all times of the year, served him a notice to leave for just a mere $90 – a balance which certainly could have been wiped out due to all the maintenance this poor gentlemen did on the property regularly. The property is well-maintained and inviting.
Christmas season (or anytime of year) no one should face the indignity of hunger, homelessness, or poverty. This poor man lost his wife less than one year ago! Of course there are shelters, but this time of year, most shelters are full, so my family has invited this neighbor to stay here for shelter until he can declare some financial independence.
This act is nothing heroic, it is just human-decency especially during a season which is supposed to be about love and caring. But do we as a whole truly care about others?
Scripture does not state that money is the root of all evil, but that it is the “love” of money that is the root problem. When $90 is more important to a person than someone’s well-being, we as a society have a very dark issue.
Many believe government is the solution, however there is a price to pay when government is involved. At the heart of the matter is society and even more specifically the church body.
Deuteronomy 15:11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
Matthew 5:42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you…”