The First Sunday in Lent offers the ideal place from which to start the journey: the Communion Table. There we gather to hear an ancient truth, to re-member, and to put ourselves back together as the body of Christ. There we receive blessings that we might be healed and restored and—just as importantly—that we might go forth to be a blessing. A long tradition of this church is to make that turn from being blessed to blessing, and to do so quickly – through our Active Prayer of Thanksgiving. Having been blessed by the feast of Christ, we bring food (or monetary donations) to give to the People’s Pantry. It is a rich and important tradition of living into our faith. This Sunday a leader of that organization, our own Anne Hutchinson, will be on hand to talk about the ministries of the People’s Pantry and share stories about some people they serve.
I invite you to consider renewing your participation in this tradition, for it is one way we answer the Great Commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. First, as you think about shopping for donations, spend time prayerfully thinking about those who live with food insecurity and how that might impact their living. As you embark on your shopping there are a number of things to think about. What are the things that matter to you as you shop for your own food? Is it important that it be healthy? Organic? Local? A balance of those things and more? Sales can and do help your dollar go further, and yet oftentimes sales items are less healthy. Items like toiletries are often needed and in short supply at the Pantry.
Sometimes in my family there is a sudden realization that it is a communion Sunday so we grab whatever we have in the house and bring it over (and that is good and helpful). I know, though, that when we take the time to thoughtfully engage Jake and each other in thinking about what to get and being intentional about shopping for it together, it is deeper and more meaningful for us and we often end up with better and more things to bring in on Sunday. Blessings to you as you consider and respond to another chance to be blessed by Jesus and then offer his blessing to the world.