“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35
I’m amazed at how the Body of Christ works. Because of His love for us we are so able to love others and loving others in times of great need is what Jesus called us to do many times in His Word. In fact He tells us in Mark 12:31 that second only to loving “God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”, loving your neighbor is the most important of His commands.
I witnessed this first hand this morning at Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Staten Island, NY. Pastor Paul Robbins told us all of a family on Staten Island in which the husband died unexpectedly this last week. He left behind a wife and two boys, ages 7 and 9, both of which have special needs. Understandably, this family is devastated that their husband and father is no longer with them and is in crisis.
A member of the church found the “MealTrain” Website and noticed that very few people had signed up to bring dinner for this mom and children so she mentioned it to Pastor Paul which lead to him sharing this need with the congregation this morning. He made an appeal for the church to be the Church and show the Love of Jesus by bringing a meal, writing a small note and offering prayer to the family. For a Staten Islander that goes to Bethel EFC bringing a meal is second nature. These people know how to do comfort food and comfort is exactly what this family needs right now. What a great way to live out Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself.
When a family is in crisis even basic needs seem to be laid aside as arrangements are made for their lost loved one and they navigate their feelings of shock, loss and grief. This is an amazing time for the Body of Christ to come alongside a family and share the love of Christ in a holistic way by meeting a physical need. This leads to the question…”Why? Why are you doing this? I am a stranger to you.” And you can share that you are doing it because Jesus loves you and them and that serving you in this small way is my way of serving Him. Or simply say, because of my love for Jesus and His people.
Are you prepared to open your hearts or even home to someone in crisis? Does your church have a plan to help those who find themselves suddenly great need in your community? Anyone can make a meal or write a check or drop off a piece of used clothing. Even someone who does not believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior can do this. For the church to be the Church we need to do them in the powerful name of Jesus Christ. That is what can make an eternal difference in someone’s life. Don’t get me wrong. We are not to do this to make the recipient our personal “project”. We simply need to do what we are commanded to do…Love our neighbors as ourselves always keeping in mind what comes before that…Love the Lord your God with everything you have!