When any of us hear the term “starving people” we immediately think of the many people around the world who go without food every day. Most of us have seen and been deeply moved by graphic pictures of starving people and as a result we have offered our financial help. In addition to the many physically starving people, there are many others who are starving for the love, mercy and salvation of Jesus Christ. When Jesus calls us to “Feed my people,” it is important to remember that we need to feed both their stomachs and feed their souls. Feeding their souls is the subject of today’s 4th Day Letter.
I was honored with the opportunity to facilitate two BLESSED, BROKEN and SCARED retreats over the last two weekends. One was at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Taylor Ridge, IL and the other was at Bethany Lutheran Church in Rice Lake, WI. What a blessing to be with so many joyful and gracious people.
During the retreat the morning message focused on three topics, all of which I have written about in my weekly emails. Those topics are:
- How BLESSED we are by God’s incredible mercy
- Our BROKEN condition caused by sin and by living in a broken world
- The SCARED reaction we have to being transparent and honest with others about our brokenness
In the morning the retreatants are challenged to be introspective. Everyone is asked to examine those things that cloud their relationship with God. In the afternoon I try to help everyone realize that they are not alone. Everyone else has issues and struggles too. During the morning we looked inward, in the afternoon there is a call to look outward.
As Christians and Disciples of Jesus we are not called to be BLESSED, BROKEN and SCARED but rather we are called to be BLESSED, BROKEN AND SHARED. God intends for us to be communion for a starving world. Have you ever thought of yourself as communion for others?
God has always intended for us to be communal people. We need other people to share the ups and downs of life with. An isolated Christian is an ineffective evangelizer. Someone who is alone with their sin is utterly alone. When we share both our joys and struggles openly and honestly with others and when we give testimony to our need for Christ to heal the wounds of our life, we draw other people to Him.
Jesus Christ is our SAVIOR. This presumes all people are in need of being saved. Are you in tune to the needs of the people around you? Most people put on the facade that everything in their life is okay; therefore it is hard to see their wounds. If we are willing to be honest and vulnerable then we give others permission to do the same.
On Sunday one day after the second retreat, a song was played during their service that really caught my attention. The song was LET US BE BREAD written by Thomas J. Porter. As I reflected back on these two weekends and the message that the Holy Spirit had placed on my heart to share with these two communities, I thought the words of this song provided a great summary. I invite you to reflect on the words of the song’s refrain.
“Let us be bread, blessed by the Lord,
broken and shared, life for the world.
Let us be wine, love freely poured.
Let us be one in the Lord.”
Then in verse three the essence of the retreat is summed up in one short sentence:
“See how my people have nothing to eat. Give them the bread that is you.”
God has called us to feed His people; are you willing to be communion to someone today? Invite them inside to encounter the Christ in you. Give someone permission to take their mask off, open up and share their hurts and struggles with you. Once they are fed by the love of Jesus Christ they will have the food that sustains eternal life.
Heavenly Father, help me to be aware of the many people around me every day that are starving for the life-saving medicine of a true friend and for the life sustaining food of your Son Jesus Christ and give me the courage to feed them. Amen!
I welcome the invitation to put on my Blessed, Broken and Scared retreats to any church or group interested and thank those that have allowed me to speak to them thus far. I strongly feel that this is a message relevant to anyone and everyone who is open to listening. We are all broken yet still called to be communion to others. To write to me and share your thoughts, views or questions, click here.
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