And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, 'Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.'
Just a few years ago, I was serving a church in rural North Carolina. Each week, area churches would pack bags of food for kids who were food-insecure to take home to their families for the weekend. Our closest elementary school had over 90% free and reduced lunch-qualifying kids. The neediest of those kids signed up to receive a grocery bag each Friday. My youth and I would pack those bags full of the allotment of food... several pouches of instant oatmeal, cans of fruit and vegetables, soup, pasta, granola bars, snacks, and sometimes, fresh produce. I usually delivered them on Thursday to the school front office. However, one week, there was a snow storm on that Thursday.
When I arrived on Friday to make my drop off, kids who hadn't had a meal the day before and knew the weekend was even bleaker, poured out the front door to meet me as I carried in bags. You would have thought I was St. Nick. They screamed and giggled and jumped up and down. They hugged my legs and thanked me and showed their bags off to each other. Since then, I've had times where I felt it would be a tight budget month with car repairs and unexpected expenses, but I've never had to rely on a bag of food from strangers who loved me and my kids to make it through a snowy weekend.
During Covid, the need is greater than ever. Our partner, Hands of Christ, fills bags of food for families in need every weekday. And they need our help to do it. Groups sign up to provide volunteers for the food pantry. February is JCPC's month and there's a signup genius in the weekly connection email. I hope you'll click here or give Margy a call and volunteer. Somewhere, there's a family with kids who will sit around a table this weekend and smile because you took the time to be generous with your time. And when you sit around your table, you'll remember them, and see them in your mind's eye as you pray to bless your food. And if you listen, you'll hear, "well done, good and faithful servant."