Manage episode 363363969 series 2415811
It is good to read the stories in the New Testament and have a general idea of the meaning or lesson that the Gospel writers were trying to convey in capturing the teachings of Jesus. But it is even more meaningful when you see the story being lived out in our modern world.
The Church of the Holy Trinity is an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Tennessee located in downtown Nashville just a few blocks from the Rescue Mission. The church holds a worship service every Sunday at 1 PM for everyone in the neighborhood. After worship, they feed everyone a hot lunch and then have sack lunches that they can take with them. My church, St. George’s Episcopal Church is in the same diocese, and we support their “Church in the Yard” worship service and feeding program on the 2nd Sunday of each month. We have one team that cooks and assembles sandwiches on Saturday and then we attend worship and serve food on Sunday at Church of the Holy Trinity.
Yesterday was a very special day. It had been raining the weekend, so it was too muddy to have worship “in the yard” and the air conditioning had just gone out in the main church, so we had worship and fed everyone in the parish hall adjoining the church. We had 58 participants who attended worship and then 120 people who came for the hot lunch and sack lunch-to-go. It was a glorious day with people from all different nationalities and at different points in their journeys.
One of our guests was helping to pick up the disposable dishes and trash after people finished eating and asked if we could reserve a hot lunch (pasta bake and roll) and sack lunch with water and hold it for him since he was busy helping others. We put his lunches and water back to the side so he could retrieve it when we had finished feeding everyone. After one hour and 120 people, everyone was fed, and we were out of food and water. We were finishing cleaning up and had locked one door when a lady walked in and said, “Do you have any food?”. I was apologetic and told her we had completely run out for the day. She said, “What about water? Do you have any water?” Again, I told her I was sorry, but we had given out all the water that we had.
Just then, the gentleman helping with the trash came over and hearing the conversation, pointed to the lunches we’d reserved for him. He said, “Give her those”. We wanted to make sure we’d heard him correctly and asked, “Both lunches and the water? You want us to give her those that we’d saved for you?” He said, “Yes, everything”. As I handed her the hot lunch, lunch sack and water she started to cry as she walked off.
Of course, I was reminded of Jesus’s story in Mark 12:41-44. As the wealthy were putting large amounts of money into the temple treasury, Jesus took the disciples aside to explain to them how much more of a sacrifice the widow’s offering of a few coins was because she gave out of her poverty and put in everything in the offering that she had to live on.
That is what Jesus asks of us, too: to be willing to give up everything we have in His name.
Blessings, my friend,