First Sabbath Offering for Welfare Assistance
“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
“Jesus here identifies Himself with His suffering people. It was I who was hungry and thirsty. It was I who was a stranger. It was I who was naked. It was I who was sick. It was I who was in prison. When you were enjoying the food from your bountifully spread tables, I was famishing in the hovel or street not far from you. When you closed your doors against Me, while your well-furnished rooms were unoccupied, I had not where to lay My head. Your wardrobes were filled with an abundant supply of changeable suits of apparel, upon which means had been needlessly squandered, which you might have given to the needy. I was destitute of comfortable apparel. When you were enjoying health, I was sick. Misfortune cast Me into prison and bound me with fetters, bowing down My spirit, depriving Me of freedom and hope, while you roamed free. What a oneness Jesus here expresses as existing between Himself and His suffering disciples! He makes their case His own. He identifies Himself as being in person the very sufferer.”—Welfare Ministry, p. 40.
Unfortunately, many of our brethren around the world are among these little ones referred to above. Beside those in regions devastated by natural tragedies, epidemics and pandemics, many are living in extreme poverty caused by civil wars, political conflicts, and other real social tragedies where widows and orphans are many. The General Conference Welfare Department works not only to meet primary needs such as food, clothing and health, but also to create alternative sources of income—encouraging small community businesses, farms, and bakeries, as well as build schools and buy agricultural implements and seeds—all with the aim of finding ways to promote better living conditions without relying on outside help. This is a challenge, but we believe in divine provision and are strengthened by the financial support of our brethren worldwide. Today, as we give, let us remember we are serving “one of the least” of these little brethren. Please be generous and selfless; make a sacrifice if necessary. Let us put the best of ourselves into this offering, so that when we have the privilege of meeting our Saviour, we can be among those who have the joy of hearing: “You did it unto Me”!
The General Conference Welfare Department