Monday was a great day! We started by gathering for our ‘Study and Pray’. We looked at the story of Cain and Abel. Our two big take aways were 1) We should offer God our best, and 2) that we are indeed “our brother’s keeper” These two lessons reinforced the Great Commandments to “love God and our neighbour. We then had an open time of prayer. This was a time when we lifted our brothers and sisters up to God. Often this goes for 15 minutes or so but this Monday we experienced an urge for more prolonged and deeper prayer. I must admit I was wondering when it would wrap up because I knew we had a lot to do but I stayed quiet and enjoyed the fellowship in prayer. This is true work of the Body anyway.
Afterwards we got down to the more mundane work of preparing a meal for 125+. Carrots needed peeling and slicing. Beef needed braising. Onions needed chopping. Buns needed buttering. Silverware and napkins needed rolling. The list goes on and on. Each task was accomplished in love knowing we were going to be serving our brothers and sisters at the Out Flow meal that night. Praise music played in the background as we chatted and laughed and laughed some more. Just after 12 our stew was beginning to simmer and we were ready to go for lunch. Some of us would come back after lunch to mind the stew and we would all meet back for supper together at 5.
Supper again was a great time of fellowship and we were able to reiterate our plans for serving folks that night. We had decided to eat together first because Reed gets cranky if he doesn’t eat and it was good fellowship. A few more folks joined us for this time. We loaded the vehicles and drove to the Vineyard where folks were already gathering.
After announcements and grace we were treated to a stirring rendition of Amazing Grace and then “we were off!” We began to serve the hunger multitudes gathered. As we did this I became aware that while the recipe we followed said it was for 125 people that those people must have been elderly women at a tea because our hungry folks were gobbling it up. Before the last table was served we were deep in prayer that the stew would last and … it did! Though we will make more next time we were so grateful that we did have (just) enough!
Our community was strengthened this week: in our study, in our prayers, in our fellowship and in seeing God provide! The whole exercise proved of more benefit to our Street Hope Community than to those we fed. In the Anglican Book of Common Prayer there is a prayer which says of God “in whose service is perfect freedom.” We are finding a new level of freedom as we work and serve together!