Our mission as a congregation is to change lives. That is why we welcome the stranger, feed the hungry, give of ourselves, and invite others to participate in this journey of faith. These are the actions we are inspired to take in response to God.
Every Tuesday night I work with our team to wash the dirty dishes, pots and pans from our community dinner. We have a great time racing the clock, trying to beat last week’s finish time, and each week, at about 6:30, one of our guests from dinner sticks her head into the kitchen and yells, “God bless the cooks, and the dishwashers too!” She is so happy and so genuine in her gratitude that I feel truly blessed as we laugh and thank her in return.
The meal we serve here every week and the food we deliver to various homeless camps creates a support, a basic level of sustenance, that makes faith possible. We see this in the reading from Exodus 16 for this coming Sunday. The Hebrew people are hungry and they grumble against God and Moses for leading them into the desolate wilderness and so God sends manna in the morning and quails at night. Feeding people is basic spiritual care. If our stomachs are empty we struggle to remember faith in God.
Every week we celebrate Holy Communion and participate in that holy intersection of heaven and earth. We are reminded that God is present in our hunger, in our struggles, and in our blessings. I invite the gathered people to the Lord’s table, saying, “there is food enough for all, come and be fed.” When we remember this, we are able to offer blessing to others even as we experience the blessing of God’s love ourselves. We are here to change lives and to be changed ourselves.