The Word on the Street - 8.17.2022
“In God We Trust” replaced “E Pluribus Unum” as the official motto of the United States in 1956. But can God Trust Us? Can we Trust Each Other? I wondered. Trust doesn’t come easily anymore. I attended a retreat where one exercise involved letting yourself go, falling backward into the arms of another man. For many, placing trust in another to catch you when you’re falling is difficult!
His source of confidence is fragile;
what he trusts in is a spider’s web.
He leans on his web, but it doesn’t stand firm.
He grabs it, but it does not hold up.
Our experience is festooned with such webs of fragile, misplaced confidence! Thank you for being my refuge from the worldwide web, brothers and sisters. I know you will catch me!
Mike Bongo was reminded of the importance of community on Saturday. Perhaps not exactly in the way one might expect, he said. Yes, we are out there to minister to the community, but it’s also about the community of believers who gather together to minister to the broader community. It’s much easier to commit to going to the gym if you have a partner who goes with you.
The same principle applies to serving God and serving others. Of course, nothing prevents us from serving Him in a solo sort of way, but it’s much easier to commit to the good works God has prepared for us beforehand with other like-minded believers by our side.
Mike’s insights reminded me of a time when I was young, on the beach at St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, early in March. We decided, myself and three buddies, that when we saw a dolphin leap from the freezing water, that would be the signal for us to run down the beach before the females assembled to prove our manhood by diving into the ocean, a feat so stupid only a guy would do such a thing!
So, when signaled by that merciless dolphin, the hapless crew of us on the beach started running pell-mell toward the cold, green waves! I could see on the faces of my comrades the same sickening feeling I had, waking up together to the folly of what we were now about to do, but by then there was no escape from the unpleasant consequences ahead, without risking shame. So, we just started yelling as we ran, plunging into the shocking, ice cold, breath-taking ocean waves together!
The Bible tells us how we should regard each other, brothers and sisters.
…as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.
(1 Corinthians 4:1)
Never think less of yourselves than the dearly beloved and dearly bought by the Lord you are!
Our friends were lined up, patiently waiting, when I got to State Street, a few minutes late. They trust us to help them every week. We provided snacks to carry with them this week. Jamie, who was garbed as an Eskimo against the cold this morning, said one guy loved those Vienna sausages in a tin so much that he came back for seconds, thirds and even fourths!
I never saw those little weenies in Vienna, just as I never saw any danishes in Denmark. But if a snack blunts the sharp pains of hunger, we can hardly question its national origin!
I was standing next to Angela behind the tables and because we weren’t quite so overwhelmed this weekend, I had a chance to talk to her and so began to know about her not only as a sister in the Lord, but also as a wife and mother of many children. How she finds time to do anything but tear her hair out is a mystery to me! And yet here she was, so deeply patient and kind. She was talking to Jamie about the song “Waymaker” they both knew and loved when suddenly it played on the public address system Wayne had provided. Those two were “like-minded believers”, indeed!
“Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper,
Light in the Darkness – my God, that is who you are!”
They mocked Jesus on the cross for trusting God:
He trusts in God. Let God rescue him.
People may mock us for believing His Word, but the trust we now have in God for salvation and the mysteries entrusted to us in the Bible surely compel our service. What is a good servant? From my Bible Study in Logos, a good servant is one who demonstrates the qualities of faithfulness, honesty, obedience, perseverance, respect and willingness. All these qualities surrounded Mike, Wayne, Kim, Earl, Terry, Tom, Rachel, Ruth, Ken, Angela, and Jamie today like a collective halo; giving freely of their time, their resources and their service to people struggling on the streets of our hometown, ministering to them, praying for them, drying their tears, feeding them, clothing them. What will our Master say to His good servants upon His return?
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Join in the service of the King, brothers and sisters everywhere, trusting Him to use you, however you can be used! Christianity isn’t a spectator sport; come out of the stands to be encouraged by what God is doing to reach the homeless and needy in Harrisburg, for His Glory. As Mike Bongo put it at the end of an e-mail: SO ENCOURAGED BY ALL OF YOU!
And that is the Word on the Street!
For more information, or to learn how to join us in reaching people for Jesus, please email Living Water’s Director of Outreach, Mike Bongo, at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will get you plugged in! You will be blessed as you become a blessing to others!