Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
In Joel 2:12-19, the people of God are called to a time of repentance, fasting, and prayer before God. We notice in verse 16 that the repentance and dedication to God is to apply to everyone - elders, children, infants, bride and groom, the whole congregation.
The life of the body of Christ applies to all ages, all socieoeconomic status, all walks of life. It is not exclusive. God has had mercy on his people. As those he has redeemed, we call out to him together.
What's the end result of our passage in Joel 2? In verse 19, God is going to give his people what they need and they will not be a reproach. They will find their reputation rehabilitated. Rather than being a curse to others, they will be a blessing.
What's the reputation of Christians in our culture? In the culture where I live, Christians are often considered foolish, uneducated, bigoted, offensive, and even dangerous. Our dedication to the Lord in fasting and prayer, our conscious decisions to love and serve our neighbors, these activities may bring more accusations from our world. However, they serve to show the Lord's care for the humble. They equip us to care for those who cannot care for themselves. They allow us to do good, not evil.
If our world looks at us and despises what it sees, may it at least see the care of Christ in action.
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