Sunday’s Scripture ~ I Timothy 5:1-2, 8
At the Friday Afternoon Food Bank our wise and wonderful chairman often brings the attention of the Food Bank volunteers to our words. John guides us in remembering that those we serve are experiencing hardship of some kind and that through our service, through our words, we are able to share with them the love of Christ.
We are encouraged to speak to every guest. We are encouraged to look them in the eye. We are encouraged to take that extra moment to make a special connection. I truly believe the guests of the Friday Afternoon Food Bank look forward to this offering not just because of the nutritious food that they receive, but also because the fellowship they experience is equally warm, hearty, and fulfilling.
Before I head out to chase carts in the parking lot – and sometimes violate established parking lot driving patterns! – our chairman invites me to pray with the volunteers. Together we ask God for patience, diligence, and safety as we serve. Together we ask God to reveal Godself to us in new ways, and for us to especially see God’s presence in the faces of those we serve. I know taking on that perspective changes the way that serve, speak, and steer shopping carts.
Last Friday it was quite warm – a mere foreshadowing of what is to come this summer – and as guests exited with their carts full of food I shared an encouraging word. In return they shared encouraging words:
Thank you for hosting this. My family counts on this food. I appreciate everything your church does.
I believe my words lifted their spirits. And I know that their words lifted my spirits. This is how the cycle of care begins and continues. And it is a beautiful thing.
If you have not had the opportunity to experience the work of our Friday Afternoon Food Bank, to meet our guests, and to share God’s hope in this way, you are welcome to join us on the second and fourth Fridays of each month. Volunteers gather in the Fellowship Hall at noon. With the summer months upon us and our dedicated volunteers also wanting to enjoy a bit of Sabbath and vacation, extra volunteers are needed. Our upcoming serving dates are: Friday, June 24 | Friday, July 8 | Friday, July 22.
Reflection: With whom can you share an encouraging word this week? In whom can you seek God’s likeness? In what ways will your acts of care impact the recipient? In what ways will your acts of care impact you?
Request: Please be in prayer this week for the Annual Conference Gathering of Florida United Methodists. Ask God to help our clergy and lay members to do all things in great care so that together we will more wholly act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
Prayer: “He leadeth me: O blessed thought! O words with heavenly comfort fraught! Whate’er I do, wheree’er I be, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me. He leadeth me, he leadeth me, by his own hands he leadeth me; his faithful follower I would be, for by his hand he leadeth me!”* Amen.
*”He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought,” The United Methodist Hymnal 128.