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In Matthew 5:38-42, Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.” Help me, Lord, to notice how you are speaking to me!

God’s laws and the rules of society can be used to protect our own security. Can’t they also promote justice for others? The law and duty (“an eye for an eye … “) provide basic guidelines for living, but Jesus calls His friends—His disciples—to something more. So, instead of asking, “What am I required to do here?” Christians ask, “Where do I need more generosity or freedom to respond to the vision that Jesus put before me?” Society and culture expect people to answer violence with violence and to resist unreasonable demands. Jesus calls us to imagine a different kind of response, and live a life that prompts others to see themselves anew.

These thoughts, adapted from a devotion at, speak to the mission of the Board of Human Needs at Saint John’s. If it speaks to you as well, please consider joining us at our next meeting, Saturday, July 9, at 10:30 am.

Continued thanks to those who contributed to the Uganda dress project as well as the Alpha Center Baby Bottle Campaign. Children near and far will benefit from our congregation’s generosity. As school opens soon, the School Supplies drive for needy children at Laurel Elementary will begin in August. Watch the bulletin for details and supply lists.

Nelly Sanford chairs Saint John’s Board of Human Needs, which finds opportunities for the members of Saint John’s to provide a Christian witness by helping people in the community struggling with daily necessities.