Zion United Methodist Church
Monday, October 23, 2017
Stepping out in faith to be Christ to others in the world

Food Pantry

From the Pantry Coordinator

     According to publicly self-proclaimed atheist and popular comedian, Eric Idle, the first ideas for the film, Life of Brian came about while the Monty Python comedy troupe was in Amsterdam premiering their film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  He and fellow troupe member Terry Gilliam thought the life of Christ was “…an interesting idea for comedy because noone had touched it—no one had joked about the bible or Christ. “  So they read books, bibles and the Dead Sea Scrolls to research, then began writing.  Idle recalled years after the film was released and received controversial acclaim, “You couldn’t laugh at Christ because what he’s saying is good.  He’s not directly laughable because it’s a very strong philosophy.  So the people talking about him are the target.”

From this I’ve surmised that even an atheist who’s initial intention is to make our Savior, Jesus Christ, the target of ridicule will find, when he listens to Christ’s message, that it is good.  Seriously good.

     With that in mind, please consider the gospel of Mark, Chapter 14, verses 6 through 8 from the King James Bible, “And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her?  She hath wrought a good work on me.  For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good:  but me ye have not always.  She hath done what she could:  she is come afore-hand to anoint my body to the burying.”

     This refers to the time Jesus was at a gathering and a woman anointed his feet with expensive perfume and began to wash his feet with her long hair.  She was quickly accused of wasting the expensive stuff which could have been sold so the money could be used to feed the poor.

     On the third Thursday of every month, as our volunteers prepare to serve from our Emergency Food Pantry, I think of this story and especially Jesus’ reply to those scoffing at the woman’s actions (underlined above).  Every teaching we received from Jesus is good.  He taught we are to do good for the poor when we may, but remember we will not always have Him. What?  Didn’t Paul teach us that no person or thing can remove us from the love of Christ once we had received Him?

     Jesus is reminding us here that we are sinners and the woman anointing feet is with Him.  When we act against Christ’s teachings we are in sin, that is, away from Christ, away from God.  In another lesson Jesus extends this teaching so we understand that when we care for the poor because we love Christ, we are indeed doing His work, the farthest thing from sinning.

      Our Emergency Food Pantry serves neighbors who stop in for a box of food.  There are no questions asked.  We are doing what we can to provide for a very specific need for a neighbor who is experiencing hunger in their household. Over the past few months we have had approximately 1/3 less people stopping in.  We don’t know the reason but because Jesus taught us we’ll always have the poor amongst us, we must not stop what we’re doing.  We must continue to raise the $5,000+ annually it costs to purchase food from the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.  We must continue to adopt new ideas that will increase efficiency and reduce costs.  We must continue to pray for our hungry neighbors and feed them when we can.  We must grow fresh, healthy produce in our own gardens and share it.

     Please be in prayer for our hunger ministries, the Emergency Food Pantry, the Community Garden, and the 5th Monday Micah Breakfasts.  As you are called please come to the aid of our hungry neighbors.

 
Respectfully Submitted

J. Todd Martinsen
Emergency Food Pantry Coordinator