Service Sunday Wrap Up: Holy Work
How do you describe Service Sunday? It’s so much more than making sandwiches and stuffing lunches to feed the homeless served by Union Gospel Mission. Service Sunday is about a community coming together, finding a place to help, basking in the contagious joy that is found in serving others. For just a moment, we forget troubles, earlier arguments in the car on the way to church or a mountain of leaves we must tackle in our yard later that day. It’s a happy, busy time at St. Martin’s where all ages gather and work together.
This month, the education building was buzzing with people busy making sandwiches, decorating lunch sacks and stuffing lunches.What might seem like “same old, same old” is quite the opposite. Each time folks gather for Service Sunday, something special happens. People are absolutely transformed through efforts to feed people that they may never meet. There is so much love poured into the lunches, it is sometimes astonishing. Many people offer fabulous homemade cookies, sweet bread and brownies. These sweets become truly holy offerings. A grocery list becomes a prayer list. Loaves of bread, jelly, sunflower seed spread, and boxes of chips pour into the church office and sanctuary. It starts to feel like Christmas morning, with lots of surprises! Bags containing much-needed food and supplies show up at the church office doors. A mini-van becomes a vessel, carrying precious cargo.
In the loaves and fishes story of the Gospel, Jesus scans the restless crowd of people gathering around him. He calls to his disciples, and says, “You feed them!” The dumbfounded disciples must have turned to each other, asking themselves, “how?” But looking into each other’s eyes, I’m sure a knowing smile spread between the disciples. Something miraculous happened that day when Jesus was able to make holy work with a huge hungry crowd and a handful of disciples who chose to show up, listen and try to follow Jesus. A boy, much like the children at St. Martin’s, was also paying attention that day. He was willing to offer what little he had. This is what we are called to do. We don’t need to worry that our offering, our time or our talent isn’t enough. Our work makes a difference in the lives of others who are hungry, feel forgotten or cast aside. God is able to make holy work in any instance. That’s the beauty of Service Sunday.