As many of you have heard, this whole Oprah New World thing has become quite a popular trend. Oprah is offering a huge course (some 3 million people are involved) that helps people to find God within themselves, bring out god-ness within them self.
I've also heard all about her "big give," and have seen others very inspired by the generosity she is encouraging in others.
I watched part of the AIDS fund raising that American Idol did this last week. Tell you the truth, I can't watch for more than 5 minutes without feeling great despair for those lost children or lonely parents who've lost their children.
All these things have one thing in common to me;
They are great works, works that to the human eye appear to be good, but though they offer momentary comfort, even wellness, they offer no eternal hope. Nothing that saves us from ourselves, our own depravity, the fact that we are lost.
I Corinthians 13:1 tells us; If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or cymbal. All these "good" things that are happening in the public eye, they are but a resounding gong. Now what, truly, can a meal do for a family of orphaned children in Africa? Is this a good thing? Yes! Sustainment is good, and if we can feed others rather than buying a new pair of shoes, or even eating more simply once a week, should we? Yes! But what, my friends, is a meal without life, without hope? Christ came and offered us living water. Living food. This is not merely putting off imminent hunger. It is great fulfillment...forever. It is hope when you have lost a child, or a parent, or when you have a disease that you know one day will take your life. It is eternal life.
Please don't misunderstand me. Should we give freely? When I see someone on the street corner looking for food, will I share what I have? Absolutely! We are called to do this. One of the major-est responsibilities God left us with is caring for the fatherless and the widow. But a meal, it simply sustains, while offering hope and living "food" is life.
So if you're inclined to give, do so! But consider giving toward a reputable cause, that offers simple nourishment, and the hope of a life more fulfilled in Christ. Groups that I'm familiar with, World Vision, Compassion Intl., Voice of the Martyrs, check them out. Ranting done. :)