When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” – Matthew 14:15-16
And… the hunger-related posts keep on coming. Seriously, friends, the past few weeks my blog has been like “Hunger: the Greatest Hits.”
- A Place at the Table
- Our church Community Garden
- Serve the hungry in Raleigh and Back-pack Buddies ministry
- Tri-Area-Ministries Food Bank (today)
Friday evening our church hosted a community-wide banquet designed to raise money for local food banks. Wow! What a tremendous effort, bringing together so many people from different backgrounds for a common cause. Over 300 people filled our CLC with community goodwill and fellowship and generosity.
People from over a dozen local churches came together on our campus, everyone committed to taking Jesus at his word – the instructions the Lord gave his disciples when 5,000 hungry people gathered on the hillside in Galilee: “Don’t look at me guys; YOU give them something to eat…”
It’s easy to sit back, pass the buck, and say something magical like, “I trust Jesus to make sure these people have what they need…” Or, as James chapter 2 puts it so clearly, “If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”
There is a real passion in our church to address the challenges so many face when it comes to providing enough food for their families.
I like the way Rebekah opened the evening with prayer after her welcome:
“Lord of heaven and earth… the one who defines love… who makes it possible for us to see the world through compassionate eyes… who gives us hearts and courage to respond. We gather here tonight grateful for good food, when many have none. We gather here for fun with a purpose, when many can barely put one foot in front of the other for worry and concern over how to feed their families. So, we can only gather here with a great sense of gratitude for the calling you have provided to us… that plants a deep desire to make a difference, through which all your children can be lifted into your kind of hope. We are blessed to be a blessing. Thank you. We lift this prayer in your loving name. Amen.”
Here’s my challenge, friends: if you are not yet vested in some kind of initiative that addresses hunger in your local community, please consider this as your invitation.
As Jesus said, “YOU give them something to eat.” – DEREK
here are the rest of the photos from the evening: