‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:37ff
As we approach the last day of the church year, the Sunday of Christ the King, the passage above comes to mind. We have just finished our annual Florence House party.
As Corinne Fryhle welcomed the mothers and their children in the parking lot of our church Sunday at noon, I thought of how important these few hours are in the life of our congregation. Here were some of the most vulnerable and weakest people in our society—homeless teenage mothers and their young children (some just months old) from Worcester—dressed up in their best clothes, arriving for a party at our church. We were throwing a party for them.
The Florence House party is just a gesture of Christian love, but sometimes that’s all that’s needed to keep hope alive in other people and keep faith alive in you and me. We have been able to organize this event for a number of years because Christian hospitality is alive in the hearts of some of the leaders of our church. As your pastor I am always proud of you after this event, and others like it. The Family Promise weeks always make me feel the same way.
As you reflect on your involvement in the church I invite you to think of it as something you do for others, even for strangers. This is a Christian spiritual thought, not a consumer thought, and as such it might sound a little strange to our ears. I hear people talk about going to church as something they do—or choose not to do—for themselves. But if they find a church community in which they can serve others—a church like Peace—they will probably find there a church that satisfies at least some of their spiritual needs.