No “Us” and “Them”

Dear Friend,

Men, women and children who are homeless often live in a world without hope: they may have no food, no bed, no home and no safety; they may struggle with addiction or mental illness; they start to despair. And that is the greatest struggle of all—the hopelessness that life will never get any better.

Among the most powerful words in Scripture are these words of Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26, NIV).

In other words, Christ’s resurrection offers us hope that death and despair do not have the last word — not only for men, women and children who are homeless, but for ALL of us. It is the cross that reminds us that the world isn’t divided between those who are blessed and those who aren’t. Apart from the cross, we are all hopeless, living in darkness and despair.

At Easter, we celebrate because, in the end, there is no “us” and “them.” We are all just sinners who need the forgiveness that Jesus offers through His death and resurrection. You, me and every hurting, homeless man, woman and child — we’re all in this together, brothers and sisters knit together as the family of God.

This is the amazing story of Easter. This is the story we tell 24/7, 365 days a year. And as our partner, you tell it too.

I hope you enjoy reading Michael’s and Tenesha’s stories in this issue of Soup for Your Soul. Although the details of their stories may differ from yours or mine, we all share this — Christ died that we might have life and hope!

May God grant you a blessed Easter,
Patrick H. Vanderburgh, D.Min.