Acts 2:43-47

Throughout the Easter Season, the daily devotions have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is Sara Karrow.

“Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2:43-47

How appropriate that I sit down to write this devotion after a morning serving on Faith’s Christian Community Service Center – Southwest Food Pantry Team.  Today we distributed a trailer-load of fresh food from the Houston Food Bank.

I serve as an interviewer. That means I get to talk to clients about their family relationships and health and financial struggles. Some families come every month like clockwork, relying on the pantry for their ongoing needs. Some come only occasionally, between times of regular employment. Some are seniors on fixed incomes. Some are homeless. Many are struggling to support extended families including grandchildren and adult relatives. Many first-timers tell us they’ve lost homes or jobs to Hurricane Harvey.

The pantry clients that touch me most deeply are those who are new to this country. They are amazed to learn that 40+ Christian churches come together to generously provide food and other services to all in need, regardless of their language, religion, country of origin, or even the ability to write their name. They are relieved that we don’t check residency status. The Holy Spirit is not concerned with international boundary lines or language barriers.

On Food Fair days we see lots of new faces, but today was different from most. Early in the morning, a couple of Afghani women from a nearby apartment complex came over with their children. Though the women spoke only Pashto, we were able to communicate with them in sort of a universal sign language to complete a bit of paperwork and they joined the food line. That first group walked home, arms laden with fresh fruit and vegetables. They started spreading the word to their neighbors that the Christians across the road were offering free food, and soon a steady stream of grateful Afghani mothers and children began appearing at our table. One of the women who spoke a little English told me she and her family had been in the USA just one month. She was overwhelmed by the welcome she was receiving.

What a blessing it is for those of us who have so much to come together to provide for the newcomers and needy among us, just as the early Christians did.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, creator and provider of all, we are blessed beyond measure. We thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that compels us to look beyond ourselves and our own households and consider the needs of the strangers among us. Thank you for the gift of neighbors from near and far who teach it is as much a humbling experience to give as to receive. Amen.

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One Response to “Acts 2:43-47”

  1. Sharon Says:

    This devotion touched my heart and also was a delight, because of our almost identical experience. At Bella Vista Lutheran in AR, we have a thriving pantry and your description of the folks who come is so close to what we see, except that our non-English speaking folks are most Hispanic. The ones that are so touching are the grandparents who are raising grandchildren on small SS checks. Thank you for sharing your experience. My job is also to sit with the clients and listen.

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