Pastor’s Letter July 25, 2021

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give it to the people and let them eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” So he repeated, “Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and have some left.'” He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the LORD.

  • 2 Kings 4:42-44

Good morning Beloved,

An image of a food banquet with many empty chairs. The food is primarily colorful fruits and vegetables with red napkins in the shape of birds on each plate.

I pray you are all well and in the loving faith of God. And I would like to begin today by saying thank you to the soul  who shared their faith with our community. The blessed person who quietly came and delivered  our offerings to the food pantry this month. Thank you, for this gift is a blessing of faith. Not only the gift of food, but the sharing of that gift with other people who are hungry in our world.

And there are hungry people throughout the world and in our very community of Salem. I witnessed two people this week alone with signs saying very simply, “Will work for Food.” Now of course, there are quite a few theories and questions people consider when seeing an individual without a home asking for food. Are they mentally ill; is it safe; is this a scam; are they veterans, are they just lazy? We have heard the questions by various talking heads, friends, and maybe even out of our own lips. Questions which invariably shift us from helping that person asking for food. Yet, I wonder if  we are not understanding their request: “Will work for Food.”

It seems simple enough right. These beloved souls are hungry or maybe even scamming and want food – a hand out – or whatever. But what if the food they need is not just the physical food to fill the body but also the spiritual food of a kind hand. Maybe they need a loving person to offer them a gift of fellowship? Maybe, these souls do not even know that is the hunger they feel inside, just someone to share a moment of life with – in a smile and a kind word. 

I thought of this today as there are many passages in the Bible which speak of the giving of food to the masses; and, afterwards there is always enough. The man – the disciples – Jesus always has some food which is left over. Our passage from Second Kings is one of those texts, as is the story when Jesus feeds the five thousand (Matt.14:13-21). Now, if the food here is only the physical food we consume, it says very plainly that “twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain” would not feed a hundred people. But, if the food – the giving of food or anything really – is also a giving of faith – then we would all have some left over – every time we give. And maybe – just maybe it is also the food we need, as well.

I pray you let these thoughts guide you with scripture as we boldly seek to find ways to share our faith with the hungry souls of our world.

In the Grace of God,

Your Pastor, Brian

As always please call (207-350-9561) if you need anything. For the remainder of the summer, I am shifting my pastoral care hours to Tuesday and Wednesday 10:30 – 6:30; Thursday and Friday 8- 4. I may be writing from home on Mondays but feel free to stop in to the church if the outside light is on, for I am here. Many blessings and Love, always.

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