How much are you willing to step out and fight for your neighbor? God calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves, but do we? The Episcopal Church in the DR has a martyr to give us an example of truly selfless living and love of our neighbor. Back in the 1930s, the dictator Trujillo was in power in the DR and had little tolerance for the Haitians who were living in the country at the time. He ordered their removal resulting in a blood bath along the border of Haiti and the DR. Thousands of Haitians were massacred in 1937. Trujillo was controlling communications tightly and the Reverend Charles Barnes, a missionary Episcopal priest, wrote about it to contacts in the US trying to raise awareness of the situation on the island. One of his letters was intercepted and he was martyred on July 26, 1938.
I was recently asked to give a sermon on readings that touched on justice merited by the Israelites for failure to comply with God’s commandments. While I didn’t bring Rev Barnes into the sermon, I did touch on whether we are truly reaching out to “save the weak and the orphan, defend the humble and needy; rescue the weak and the poor; deliver them from the power of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:3-4) With God’s help, we can help our neighbor in difficult times and as Christians, we are called to do so. Are you loving your neighbor as yourself? Please pray with me that you and I are strengthened through the Holy Spirit to respond to God’s call to us to truly love our neighbors, of all kinds.
Peace in Christ,