10 Nov Church in the Street–The Worship Wagon
Monday night I went to be part of a ministry my friend Bruce has called Worship Wagon, they hold church services for the homeless under a bridge in the City Market area of the city.
When I arrived, I help set up the sound system, some chairs, then volunteers (that come from different churches every week) lead worship, and give a message, the service lasted about an hour. Then a food truck from a ministry that feeds the homeless showed up and served a meal. During the whole time us who volunteer to go around offering prayer to everyone, and mingle making conversation with them and sharing Jesus with them.
There were about 50 homeless people there, apparently just across the street in the woods there are several homeless camps with about 100 people living there. I left feeling like more need to be done, maybe is just for myself, that I need to do more. But I have nothing to give, no help to offer anyone, at this point in life I cannot even help myself with my own needs, I too am in need of much. I may not be living on the street, but like them I have nothing and am need of everything.
The most interesting, and most heart-wrenching part was the bus ride there and back, it should have been a simple and quick bus ride from the corner from where I live to there, at least it should have been. That story will be another post.
I cannot help but think of Jesus words in Matthew 25:31-46 “35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’”
That means when I look upon those in need I am looking at Jesus, that is where you find Jesus, not in multi-million dollar church buildings, with their cup holder in the seats and a Starbucks in the lobby. You look in his face when you look in the face of the homeless, poor, hungry, the needy.
When I say that I am only quoting Jesus, read His words above, if you have a problem with that take it up with Jesus when you stand before Him. Of course according to Him is this how that will go.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. “
If those words of Jesus do not make you stop and think about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus, to be in a deep relationship with Him, I don’t think the fear of God is in you. Jesus’ words make me take a good look at my relationship with Him.
The gathering and more so the event that occurred on the bus ride home (more on that later) effected me so much, so deeply that I went to bed thinking I would not go back next week, it’s just to emotionally hard for me, after all what can I do to help anyone, change their situation. I went to bed depressed, full of sadness, and tearful.
Then this morning I remembered what the Lord had taught me just two weeks ago, and I figured out it applies here, He was preparing me for last night. That just like when Jesus told the the disciples to feed 5,000, they said “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” , “we don’t have enough” in other words. But Jesus took their “not enough” blessed it, and it miraculously became enough.
So I am going to stop telling God and other what I don’t have, take what I do have, my not enough, and give it to God. And if God so chooses to take my few crumbs of bread, and bless it to feed, five thousand, Praise God. And then He and He alone will get all the glory.
I am going to get off my butt and take a place before God that exhibits some measure of faith, and use what I have, even my not enough.
I’m going to stop cursing my not enough and I’m going to begin to bless.