COVID-19. Racial injustice. Food and water insecurity. Economic upheaval. Job loss. We are a world deeply wounded. Wounds upon wounds, with those who are marginalized suffering the most. Jesus inherently knew this and identified with marginalized people:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Matthew 5:6, NRSV
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40, NRSV
This last scripture from the well-known passage found in chapter 25 of Matthew’s gospel is usually quoted as " ... just as you did it to one of the least of these , you did it to me.” An important part -- I would contend the most important part -- is left out: “… who are members of my family”. My family. God’s family. Without that phrase, caring for “the least of these” can become transactional, obligatory, or even worse in times like these, something to put off or ignore. If we’re talking about family however, that’s something entirely different. With this turn of phrase, Jesus opens our eyes to the connectedness of us all and shows us that we are all one family in Christ.
When I met the Villatoro family, I was reminded how much we have in common, including a devotion to those in our care and a call to generosity to others.
In light of this, the question before us takes on new urgency: how do we honor Christ in each other, inviting all around God’s family table? How do we ensure that all are fed? That all have clean water to drink? That all are protected from violence? That all have hope? At Living Waters for the World (LWW), we are learning that it begins with the power of relationships – sisters and brothers reaching out across all that could divide us and allowing the Holy Spirit to work life-giving miracles. The world could use a lot more life-giving miracles about now.
This past fall, LWW celebrated the milestone of 1,000 water partnerships throughout the world. Today, those partners are on the front lines in their communities, protecting health and providing hope. Many of their stories have appeared in this blog these past few months, and in each, you’ll find sisters and brothers coming together and caring for one another like … family.
Living Waters for the World volunteers and people in the communities with water systems meet Christ face-to-face in each other.
Indeed, we are a world deeply wounded. Our family members are wounded. That’s why we are joining together in prayer for each other and our world every Wednesday on Facebook. That’s why in-country staff members are reaching out to every community with a water system to ask how they are doing and to find out how they can help. That’s why we are listening and responding to the suffering of people in our communities and around the world, for we know they too are the beloved children of God.
In short, we’re all in this together, and family takes care of family.