I read a hilarious online article the other day entitled, "Poverty-Stricken Africans Receive Desperately Needed Bibles". This points to a key problem in the evangelical wing of the Church: we become so preoccupied with sharing the good news contained in Scripture that we sometimes forget to follow all the edicts of Scripture. In other words, the article may not be too far off the mark in terms of how we've strategized over the last century or so.
Conversely, a key problem on the leftist side of the Church has been a commendable desire to ease the physical suffering of people while failing to give proper attention to their spiritual needs. In this regard, certainly the left and the right need one another.
The article, intended as a joke, is a nice little sermonic reminder. The prophets are filled with commands to serve the poor...Jesus claimed to have come into the world to serve the poor, at one point even connecting our faithfulness in this area to our eternal destiny...and Jesus' brother James the Just powerfully reminds us of our mission to the poor.
It's great to give Bibles to those who are starving. But we ought to bring the Bibles with a meal or two or, even better, enough help to supply the needs of the starving.
Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy. - Mother Teresa