I recently heard about a man whose small country church rallied around him and his son when he lost his wife. His church family offered them more than moral and spiritual support, they also provided the most basic things. The father didn’t cook a meal for almost a year. Casserole after casserole showed up at his door. He received gas coupons, vouchers for groceries, and anything else he needed. What a blessing! To know your church family will uphold you and your home –however long it takes.
This is a beautiful example of Christ’s church functioning as it should. Walking alongside each other. Carrying one another’s burdens. Offering – not waiting to be asked.
I can imagine what this meant to that man. Now, I try to imagine what it meant to those taking on his tasks.
The men who added additional farms chores to their own still had their own business’ to run.
The women who cooked meal after meal had their own families to feed and children to tend too.
The people who purchased additional gas cards and grocery cards were also feeling the financial pinch of the year and struggling under the poor economy.
Loving the way Christ has called us to love is rarely easy, convenient, or instantly rewarding. It often pulls us from our comfort zone and drops us smack in the middle of what appears to be an impossible task.
Harvest Brantford, where my husband and I worship, is a church plant off Harvest Oakville. Harvest Oakville is known as a church that provides for one another in very practical ways. Vehicle ownerships have been signed over so many times to families in need that it has become a common occurrence.
Harvest Brantford is only 8 weeks old, and we already see this type of love. Moving days are big church family parties as dozens gather to help and support friends in need. A vehicle ownership has already been signed over to a new family in need, and groceries have been bought and delivered to various friends. The tradition of generosity continues.
This challenges me to give more. To love more. To think less of me and more of others. This challenges me to reconsider my too-often knee-jerk response of I can’t and consider that God can and He might want to through me.
As much as I like to live life on my own terms, I can’t – and I shouldn’t. I am my sister’s keeper. My brother’s keeper. I am called to give – not out of my wealth and comfort – but give even when it hurts. Maybe especially when it hurts.
When God’s people do this an amazing thing happens. The world starts to see Christ in everyday people like you and me. We become the example He has called us to be. Instead of blending in with society we shine like a light on top of a hill. We salt the earth with the flavor and love of God.
Take a good look around. Someone you know needs a friend. Maybe they need something provided. Maybe they need a listening ear. Maybe they just need someone to walk alongside of them. Is God calling you meet that need in His name, by His strength, and through the power of His Holy Spirit?