We had a meeting of our Missional Church Committee tonight and formalized our plans for our Winter Giveaway at the Martin Luther King Center next month. We'll be giving out a number of personal hygiene items. We wanted to concentrate on the things you need but can't buy with food stamps. So we are collecting shampoo, conditioner, tooth paste and tooth brushes, bar soap and laundry detergent. Our people have been so good at bringing in the supplies but we always welcome more from any source. We really want to bless the people in need who live around the Church. This is our tangible way to let our neighbors know that God cares about them. After all Jesus said the greatest commandment was "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself." We are doing that.
We have found that when you give in love, the blessing always comes back to you in unexpected ways.
I like the story that is told about a Holy man that was having a conversation with the Lord one day. The man said, ''Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.''
The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.
In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it impossible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
The Lord said, ''You have seen Hell." They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoon but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, ''I don't understand."
''It is simple,'' said the Lord. ''It requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. When we learn to love one another, we receive a taste of heaven.
What we are doing is sharing our spoons with our neighbors.