I’d like to a share three “gems” from the late William Sloane Coffin taken from his book of quotations entitled Credo. (John Knox Press, 2004)

William Slone Coffin

GEM #1

“The word ‘homeless’ is devastating, suggesting neither comfort nor companionship, dignity nor grace, and precious little identity. To have no place is to be no place. Homelessness is nowheresville—whether you’re one of the world’s 14 million refugees, a boat person from Indochina, one of Calcutta’s 400,000 semi-starved sidewalk dwellers, or one of the 36,000 who in New York City spend so much of their time huddled in doorways, wrapping themselves in the Daily News.

Can anyone disagree with this assessment?

So what does God’s word teach us?

GEM #2

“The biblical reminder is clear: whatever our economic system, the enemy is excess, not possessions. The battle cry is ‘Enough!’ not “Nothing!’ ‘Enough’ so that we can all break bread together, so that everyone’s prayer can be answered—’Give us this day our daily bread.’ ”

The Bible instructs to us love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. So one would think that those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus would get the idea of “having too much, an excess,” is something we’d all be careful not to indulge in.

Why? There’s a whole world out there who could survive on a bit of “our” excess.

And of course, this reasoning could apply to anyone who has “an excess” of goods or monetary resources. But you’d think that those who call themselves “Christians” would not have any problem with anyone, or any organization, or any government program, that is making “attempts” to aid those in need.

But, unfortunately, you’d be wrong, according to Coffin.

GEM #3

“It is ironic to think of the number of people in this country who pray for the poor and needy on Sunday and spend the rest of the week complaining that the government is doing something about them.”

Something to think about. Something to pray about. Something to do something about.

Let me know if you “readers” would like more of these types of quotes.

Thanks for stopping by.