“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these, who are members of my family, you did it for me.Matthew 25:35-37, 41
For all Christians, and especially deacons, we are called to serve in the name of Christ God’s beloved and marginalized people. Being present and being open to see Christ in others is our call. Many of those who are marginalized would respond to Christian kindness with, “what a blessing you are to me.” The reality is that being in a sacred space with those who are downtrodden is a Holy blessing to both people present.
Recently a parishioner brought me a “blessing bag,” a gallon-sized resealable bag filled with water, a tuna pouch, trail mix, toothpaste, toothbrush, a new pair of socks, peanuts, and many other small things. The contents of this bag could show love and hope to those having a tough time in life. It is a simple gesture of Christian love to a person who may be without shelter, uncertainty about their next meal or suffering from a self-imposed prison due to circumstances of life. Many folks carry blessing bags in their cars to hand out to people asking for assistance on a street corner, a stoplight intersection or exit ramp.
There is also a need for blessing bags at All Saints’ as a way to offer hospitality to the stranger knocking on our door, seeking love and assistance. I remember being at church with Rev. Nancy on Christmas Eve when a knock was heard at the church door. A family was seeking shelter and food for the night. Though we assisted them the best we could, yet, a blessing bag would have been so beneficial that Christmas Eve.
Are you interested in creating a blessing bag to carry with you or leave at the church office to assist others? For more information and guidance, contact Deacon Jackie.