I was somewhat confused when I read “Standing Still” (Terry Anker column published Dec. 5) in “Current in Noblesville.” After attending a Christian church worship service, I was able to more clearly understand the statement that is key to the editorial: We must brace ourselves to provision these folks for the entirety of their lives. You summed up the message of Jesus in the New Testament. As support for your statement, I offer two portions of Scripture.
1 Matthew 25: 31-47 (NIV)
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
2 Luke 9: 10-13
10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida,
11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.” They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish–unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”
14 (About five thousand men were here.) But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.”
15 The disciples did so, and everybody sat down.
16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people.
17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
You were right! Jesus doesn’t ask us to judge or determine whether our fellow beings are worthy of our assistance. Rather, he reminds us as you have, “Brace ourselves to provision these folks for the entirety of their lives.”
You are in a unique position as a leader in Hamilton County to be an advocate for measures that will assist is in following the instructions of Jesus. Three improvements come to mind:
- Advocate for public transportation that will extend into Hamilton, allowing those in Marion County to have reliable transportation to accept employment in our county.
- Advocate for 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week affordable day are so parents who find employment here will not worry about their children while they work and will be able to afford such care on the level of compensation many available jobs offer.
- Advocate for Noblesville and other Hamilton County communities to remove restrictions on building homes that families who want to benefit from the amenities of Hamilton County, especially our excellent school systems, can afford.
I applaud you for recognizing the problem and for your reminder that we need to be prepared to care for others, not just in the short term but for eternity! That’s what Jesus Christ would have us do. What a good message for this Christmas season!
Pamela Kielty, Noblesville