As we read John 19, we find Jesus dying. And in the midst of his agonising pain and impending death, we find him doing something really unexpected.
Looking down and noticing his mother and his best friend,Â Jesus tells Mary, â€˜Woman, here is your son,â€™ (v26) and tells John, â€˜Here is your mother.â€™ (v27). Throughout Jesusâ€™ ministry, we see his concern for the vulnerable and marginalised, time and again. We see that concern even as he is dying, as he notices a vulnerable woman and urges his best friend to take care of her and provide for her. As a result, John takes Mary into his home and treats her as a member of his own family.
Today, Pukusu Childrenâ€™s Ministry does something very similar. Throughout this remote corner of DR Congo, families and even single parents take in children who have been orphaned or simply abandoned. And this is not a rare thing. Inspired by Jesusâ€™ love for the marginalised, and with the encouragement and support of Pastor Raymond and his team, countless families in Pukusu are showing radical hospitality to the most vulnerable children in their community. This trend is now spreading to other communities too! Itâ€™s beautiful to see so many people daring to take Jesusâ€™ words literally, and how this is transforming childrenâ€™s lives.
Inspiring though this is, we canâ€™t treat it as just a nice story. We canâ€™t read about what the people of Pukusu are doing for vulnerable children, or about what Jesus urged John to do for Mary, without asking ourselves whether we should perhaps be doing the same. Who are the really vulnerable people in our communities? And how could we extend Jesusâ€™ radical hospitality to them? For example, more than 50 children are taken into care in the UK, every day*. These children are removed from home situations which are chaotic, traumatic, abusive or neglectful. They desperately need love, acceptance and security. What if we were the ones to provide those things? What if we resolved to offer Jesusâ€™ radical hospitality to the most vulnerable ofÂ children? Just think of how beautiful that could be.