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On Faith: We need to share what has been given to us

I share with you a story that Bishop Elizabeth Eaton write in the July edition of Living Lutheran, the monthly magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She writes:

"There used to be a Lutheran Church in St. Petersburg (Russia). It was a beautiful structure witnessing to the glory of God where the Lutheran immigrants who arrived in the 18th century could worship the lord in the beauty of holiness. It was skillfully crafted out of wood. St. Mary's Lutheran Church still stood in St. Petersburg, renamed Leningrad.

"The church was a place of worship and hope during the siege of Leningrad during World War II. But people were freezing and starving to death in Leningrad. There was no wood for heating or cooking. So the Lutherans looked at their church and then looked at the suffering around them. Piece by piece, they dismantled their building and gave it away for the life of their community."

We oftentimes wonder what our faith tells us about caring for others. Do we care for those who are different from us, whether it be denominational lines or national ideologies, different skin tones or strange languages?

If we believe that we are creatures of the same loving God, how can we not look at our own "beautiful" being and not care for those in need? How can we not share our beliefs that are grounded in the love that God has shared with us in his son, Jesus the Christ, to those who are suffering? Whether it be in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Africa or any other place, when people hurt and are in need, we need to share what we have with them.

Through baptism we are called by God, and as heirs to his kingdom, let us share what has been given to us, with those around us who are in need. Not only physical gifts, but in encouragement and prayer.

"On Faith" is a weekly column in the News-Chronicle written by area religious leaders.