Friday, June 15, 2007

Considering Special Needs in Church: Then shall the lame man leap like a deer

The girl talkers link to a great article by Peter Avery on how Christians ought to think about the disabled.

Matthias Media Briefing Web Extras: Then shall the lame man leap like a deer

Avery's quick 8 points are as follows:

1. God is responsible for people having disabilities
2. Disabilities are signposts of a broken and fallen world
3. God has a special concern for people with disabilities and special needs
4. God promises to restore fallen creation
5. Jesus breaks the power of sin and begins to restore creation
6. Jesus is the perfect priest who brings us salvation
7. God has given us his Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our restoration
8. We are to love the people with disabilities

I particularly appreciated this quote from his 8th point:

"We have many brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle with a whole range of disabilities—some more obvious than others. Some have frail bodies because of their age. Some suffer from mental illness. Some have physical disabilities, for example, blindness and deafness, which make participating in church hard. It's not easy for many who struggle. We must learn humility, patience, gentleness, and genuine love and care. Sometimes we will need to be firm. That's exactly what Leah needs when she wants to jump fully clothed into a bath full of water. Sometimes we will need to sit with someone and listen to them for a long time, rather than rush off to do something we want to do. Sometimes we will need to plan a visit to help with the mowing or the other jobs that our brothers and sisters cannot do. Sometimes we will need to open our homes to offer hospitality and friendship. Whatever we do in our fellowship, our weakest members must never be forgotten. They must always be included in everything, and encouraged to see that they have something unique to offer."