Monday Muse: What does Charity mean to you?

Our theme at 6 Degrees in December is “Giving Back.” Looking at different places where we can give back, we think of the old saying that goes, “Charity begins at home.” Charity is the theme for “The Growing Group” this month. There is a devotion about charity from William Temple, who served as the Archbishop of Canterbury during World War II. He wrote about the true definition of what Christian Charity can mean in your life. With this piece, we look at the things we can do for others as well as that which is needed for our families and for our own survival. And when we think of home, it also means our home town, our home church, and our own household with extended family. “Whatever you Did not Do” from William Temple   “It is Christ who pines when the poor are hungry, it is Christ who is repulsed when strangers are not welcome; it is Christ who suffers when rags fail to keep out the cold, it is Christ who is in anguish in the long-drawn illness, it is Christ who waits behind the prison doors. You come upon one of those who have been broken by the tempests of life, and if you look with eyes of Christian Faith and love, he will life a brow…and you will know that you are standing before the King of kings, Lord of lords. Christ brought to the world a new conception of royalty. He rules by love and not by force. That, as he expressly said, is the difference between his kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. … …”Civilization, as we know it, produces much human refuse. Slum dwellings, long hours of work, underpayment, child labor, lack of education, prostitution-all these evils are responsible for stunting and warping the development of souls. Things are improving, we hope. But unless we are exerting all the strength that Christ gives us in ending these bad conditions, then the responsibility for wasted lives lies at our door, and from the streets….the cry goes up…”Just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” Mantra: This week I will begin by thinking of those who are in need of charity. That includes those close to home and those who are poor and in need throughout the world. And though I know that we cannot relieve all suffering, at this time of holidays and laughter and fun,  I will try to remember to look through the eyes of someone who is the most compassionate and caring.  And I will try to make decisions and rule my life going forward based on charity and love.

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