This afternoon we hosted the interfaith luncheon and fed lunch to over sixty people. Many of them are either out of work, homeless or live with very limited income. Mark Hopkins and his crew from Central Baptist cooked up a batch of hot dogs, chips, brown beans, salad and peaches for the folks.
I love working at the luncheons. Since we began doing it in 2006 we have served hundreds of people. When you serve others, you know that you are doing something special. Most of us get so caught up in our own thing that we don't stop to think about what others are going through. Working at the luncheon reminds you that we are all one step away from needing a little help from our friends.
Today there was a situation that caused a little angst among the servers. After everyone was served, a few people asked if there were extra hot dogs. We started passing them out and then we had a run on them. Guys were coming up to the window instead of waiting in their seats. As a result we lost control and before we knew it one guy walked out with five hot dogs while others were left without.
As we were talking about it later, we were reminded that for some of the guests this may be their last meal for a couple of days. Many of them have known hunger unlike anything we have ever had to go through. Some of them have lived and learned to hoard whatever food they could get. That's who they are.
As I thought about this it dawned on me that this is the reason God gave us the ten commandments and many of the Deuteronomical laws. They were given to protect us and to give us guidelines how to live and honor God and each other. This is because we are who we are.
Thankfully God is full of mercy and he is always willing to forgive. That is the message of the cross. We couldn't help ourselves so God opened the door and offered us grace through the loving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The good news is that God knows us with all our faults and he still loves us. Praise God.