Saturday, February 23, 2008

glimpses of the kingdom

Today we held our annual "Day of Service". It is a morning that brings together folks of all ages, who have signed on to particular teams. I decided to be a part of the "Stop Hunger Now" team (see the link under "Repairing The World"). About 30 people in our team assembled packets that included at least four separate ingredients (rice, vitamin powder, freeze dried vegetable powder and chicken powder); these were weighed, sealed (thus keeping them fresh for three years), boxed and ultimately shipped to the warehouse in Raleigh. The food will be taken to Cochabamba, Bolivia later in the winter, where it will be enjoyed in a school lunch program there. Our team put together 10,000 meals in approximately two hours. It was a good time of fellowship, learning about what that organization does, and being a small part of God's desire to feed the hungry of this world.

I continue to be amazed by the people of the church that I serve. In the past week we have hosted a "Nothing But Nets" basketball benefit, listened to the President of the YMCA of Gambia (Africa), who spoke about malaria nets, and hosted an annual luncheon to benefit UMAR, a ministry with adults who have developmental disabilities (450 were in attendance). So in a week three important constituencies among and beyond us have come into focus: hungry children in South America; families in need of protection from Malaria in rural Africa; and young adults with disabilities and their families. There is surely much that is wrong with the Christian church in the United States, and the call to be a disciple is lifelong (we never arrive); but at the moment I am grateful for those who look beyond themselves, and their own comfort and gratification, toward others, and who do so in the name of Christ. At times the church really does approximate the kingdom of God. I thank God for glimpses of that in the past week.


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