I was sitting at the church secretary’s desk yesterday working on the church bulletin (hey, it’s what pastor’s do) and a guy came in looking for some help. He needed some groceries.
I called for the secretary to come up and help fill out the paperwork (because Jesus always had forms for people to fill out) to get him a gift card for our local grocery store (do we still call them supermarkets?). She handed him the clipboard with the form, and this 30 something-year-old man said with a speech impediment, he couldn’t really read or write so could she help him fill it out.
What?! Is it just me? How does this happen? I’m not blaming anyone, but I thought what is the future for this guy in the 21st Century? I just wanted to cry or take him home like a stray puppy. I know, I know, Ken, get over your bleeding heart - but if I don’t care who will.
Have I told you the story about the preacher that was on an airplane and the guy next to him asked him what he did for a living (preacher’s hate this BTW)? The man then started to tell the preacher he had been too bad for Jesus to love him.
The preacher then said, “That’s nothing. I’m worse than you.” The guy said, “What do you mean, you're a preacher?” Then the pastor said, “When I get off of this plane I'm never going to think about you again.”
Ouch! I think that’s the truth - what I'm saying is I’m not sure we really care. If we did, we would do more than a gift card, a quick handout. They say (whoever they are) that we should invite them into our home before we ever invite them to our church (Hebrews 13:2, show hospitality to strangers). That’s truth too.
I remember reading somewhere, silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give to you (Acts 3:6) ... for the most part all I have is Jesus, so I gave the guy some Jesus and the $7 I had in my pocket (he took the $7 but passed on the Jesus).
The church can do better than school supplies in August, a turkey at Thanksgiving, a coat in December. My prayer is that the church would be the church. Bible studying and Bible doing are two different things. He asked me to ask you that.
Ken Ansell currently serves as a pastor and local missionary in small, rural Texas community. He plays lots of tennis and fly fishes when he can. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org