During the early days of the Christian church the number of folks who committed themselves to follow Christ had grown beyond the ability for the original twelve disciples to care for. That proved to be a problem. For example, one of the ministries of the church was to share meals with the less fortunate. Most widows, who had no source of income, belonged to this group of folks. Unfortunately, as we read in Acts, the daily distribution of food was not occurring for some widows. They were being neglected.
I suspect that the distribution of food had other benefits besides meeting hunger needs. There were, no doubt, spiritual and social needs being met as well during these visits. Some scholars believe that for members of the early church the distribution of food stuffs was also considered an extension of the Lord’s Supper. After all, this food, bread and wine included, was being distributed in the name of Christ, whose presence was recognized in this act.
At Shepherd of the Mountains we are often made aware of the needs of our members and those of other folks in the surrounding communities. These needs may be physical, spiritual or emotional. Some folks need companionship and desire for someone to visit them. Some youth need or crave more attention than their families are able to provide to them. Some of us simply would like someone to pray with.
In the Book of Acts such needs were addressed by the division of labor among the followers of Christ. The apostles were encouraged to study, teach, and preach God’s Word. Others were encouraged to visit and pray and distribute bread and wine.
At Shepherd of the Mountains I encourage all of us to lend a hand. The truth is, we do this well. All of us participate in the life of this church body. I believe this behavior comes from a collective sense of call. Together we care for each other and our communities. Together we generously share the love of God for the good of the world.
We continue to be “In the Mountains for Good.” For Christ sake.
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve