by Craig Heidenreich
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A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land (Psalm 68:5,6).
Read Psalm 68:1–10,32–35
Am I ever glad that we serve a God who is different from other gods? No other religion depicts God in these compassionate terms!
When Jesus launches his ministry in Luke 4, with the following verses, he picks up on this theme: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised’.
Jesus is saying the core reason he has been sent is to bring reconciliation with God – a God who restores what has been broken.
My wife and I often refer to one of Martin Luther’s quotes, ‘I’m just a beggar, leading another beggar to find bread’.
As we are restored by Jesus, we can also show compassion to others who are fatherless, lonely and prisoners by being that family to receive them.
Lord Jesus, help me to see you in my labours today – in the ordinary, ‘least of these’ moments of my day. Help me to ‘lose my life, so that I might find it’ and be marked by joy. Amen.
Craig enjoys making friends with people from other countries and trying to learn a few words of greeting in their languages. He says it’s fun to see the joy on a person’s face when they hear their mother tongue. When he has some spare time, he’s happy renovating the home he and his wife recently purchased in Kapunda, South Australia.