Giving It All Away
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. [Because] I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”
Matthew 25:34-36 (NIV UK)
There’s a church around the corner from our GCI headquarters that hosts food trucks on Wednesday nights. For those of you who don’t live in Los Angeles, you might not know what a food truck is. Let me tell you about them.
They’re basically mobile kitchens that specialise in comfort foods like grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos, and pizza. They’ve even become so well known that the guide to good restaurants, Zagat, started rating them. But last summer, there was a truck driving around Minneapolis that won’t be getting a Zagat rating anytime soon. And not because it can’t pass the health code inspection.
Instead, this Minneapolis truck didn’t sell food— it accepted donations. They call it a “Reverse Food Truck” and their mission remains simple: collect $50,000 dollars-worth of food by the end of the year so that it can be distributed to the homeless community in the city. When I heard about this, I thought: “What a great idea!”
You see, through our union with Christ, we receive every good blessing that our Father in Heaven has prepared for us. And it is by this union that we are sanctified and made mature as believers. As we recognise what God has given to us, freely through his mercy and grace, we’re able to pass on what we have received to others. Christ encouraged this type of generosity during his parable of the Sheep and the Goats in the Gospel of Matthew. He praises those who fed the hungry, clothed the naked and visited those in prison, saying: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me” (Matthew 25:40).
The holiday seasons generally focus on the needs of the homeless and umemployed. But their needs continue all year long. I’d like to encourage you, therefore, to get out into your community some time soon and look for opportunities to see how you can bear witness to the generosity of our Triune God who recognises our deepest needs and has given so freely to us.
Gracious Father, we in the West live like princes, but the poor we always have with us. Help us to be gracious and merciful to those who have fallen on hard times as you were to us when we were yet sinners. We pray in Jesus’ name.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.