One two-word phrase stood out to me from this week’s The Hole in our Gospel reading: “nonnegotiable commitments.”
What are yours?
What are ours?
Church calendars can become just as busy and overcrowded as individual and family calendars so amid the endless array of good ideas and pressing needs, we must decide what our “nonnegotiable commitments” will be. Richard Stearns and the World Vision gang would undoubtedly say that ministry to the poor should be a nonnegotiable commitment, but it might be helpful to remember that they’re not alone in that sentiment.
When the Apostle Paul reflected on his endorsement from the church leaders in Jerusalem he said, “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along” (Galatians 2:10). And in Matthew 25:35-40 Jesus famously equated ministry to the poor with ministry to His own person.
I’m so grateful for both this book and the steps that Grace has taken in the past year to grow in our compassion and concern for hurting people both locally and around the world. In a recent Grace Church service we prayed for persecuted Christians in Egypt…we heard from a young woman who is devoting the next year of her life to fighting human trafficking in India through the International Justice Mission…we promoted our well-digging fundraising campaign…and we collected school supplies for needy children in both our community and in an orphanage in Mexico. Jessica and I left the morning profoundly grateful to be carrying more of God’s heart for the world.
We’re never letting it go. It’s a nonnegotiable commitment.
The Hole in our Gospel Reading Program Chapter Sixteen: The Great Omission
 Richard Stearns, The Hole in our Gospel (Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN: 2010), 183.