Daily Prayer Concerns:
The Stroud Family
Peggy and Billy Kinney
Daily Scripture Readings:
Proverbs 22:1-9 (Verse 9)
The Significance of Spaghetti
A couple months ago, Bobby Hamilton silently came into the Church, stuck his head into the doorway of my office and said, “Hey…what are doing Thursday morning?”. To which I simply responded, “Well, Mr. Bobby…I am going to be doing whatever you or God need me to do Thursday morning.” In that moment, God gifted me with a real time experience to which my two brown eyes, for the first time, saw Proverbs 22:9 come to life. This had EVERYTHING to do with Mr. Bobby (and Phil Thomas) spaghetti. You see, I experienced the generosity of God manifest through the discipleship of others at the Bennettsville Community Kitchen.
I did not realize how late I was to this particular outpouring of love and discipleship party. Bobby, May, Phil, Amy, Fran, and Elaine (and others) have been serving on the 1st Thursday of each month for some time. I am also told Terry and Ricky Sheets along with their crew are also active in this ministry along with other churches, and organizations. How awesome is that? As far as I am concerned that is exceedingly awesome in my book.
I had an epiphany tonight when I executed a simple two minute Google search on my Iphone. I discovered (according to scchildren.org) 42.8% of our kids between birth and age 17 live below the poverty level in Marlboro County. Of the roughly 8308 people who live in Bennettsville, 35.8% of these folks are hungry. I had to take a minute because I was blinded by my tears. I suppose it is no surprise the couple times I volunteered at the Community Kitchen upwards of 150 plates of Bobby and Phil’s Spaghetti were served that day. I thank God for the Community Kitchen and the ministry it provides to our community. I thank God for each of you (along with many others) who sacrifice precious time to be the hands and feet of Jesus by participating in that particular ministry.
Proverbs 22:1-9 provides a lot of wisdom and insight, especially in terms of generosity. Let’s focus on verse 9, “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.” Church family, this particular verse is much more about application today than it is about giving away groceries. Generosity does not stop at spaghetti. A generous man shares his time, at other times, a listening ear; but most of the time, it is himself, a caring friend. When we become men and women like this, we may be shocked at how rapidly (and in what magnitude) the “spaghetti” (food) comes back to us when we find ourselves famished. We quickly discover the generosity of God through the work of His Holy Spirit is reimbursed in full.
Generosity is not a two lane secondary rural country road, it often becomes a 2 way multiple lane freeway. We need to give more than lip service to the idea of sharing ourselves with one another. We need each other! Now more than ever…Especially when we are hurting or struggling. One of the ways we can greatly affirm the value of our friendships is to take turns bearing each other’s burdens. Tonight I thank God for ALL of YOU! Every. Single. One. of YOU! But even more so, I thank God for planting me in the First United Methodist church family that in so many unique ways boldly demonstrates the sincere Christ like example of generosity…in the variety of ways you love your neighbor. There is no greater humbling honor on this side of Heaven than the privilege of serving as your pastor. Ya’ll make my heart smile.
Peace and Prayers,