By March 30, 2022Weekly Update

Dear Gatherers,

When I’m feeling especially insignificant or of little use (which is more often than you know), my inner jukebox cranks up a song from childhood, the wondrous “Feed the Birds” number in Mary Poppins. As a kid, I only knew the song from the soundtrack. (Movies were “worldly amusements” that diehard Pentecostals avoided back in those days.) Yet even without visuals of the bird lady on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the quiet lyric gripped me:

Though her words are simple and few
“Listen, listen”, she’s calling to you
“Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag”

What may seem like so little to us can often be life-sustaining nourishment for someone else. A gentle word, a random gesture, a moment of going further than most—modest morsels we offer from our crumpled bags of kindness are vital bread for others’ souls. This is why Jesus constantly teaches to offer more than is asked of us, doing for others what we’d want for us, treating folks how we’d like to be treated. In other words, we’re called to go beyond meeting obvious needs; we’re called to make lives better and calmer and more hopeful.

Henri Nouwen calls this “being bread for the world”—allowing ourselves to be given for the wellbeing of others. In theory, this is an idealistic almost impossible request. Who can do such things, especially when keeping our own families and relationships and selves going? But I’m convinced such thinking results from a lost sense of scale. In God’s economy, morsels get multiplied. We don’t need to have all the means and answers in our bag. Just a few crumbs from your hand and my hand and other hands and whole needs get met. Lives get saved. Hope gets restored.
Though her words are simple and few
“Listen listen,” she’s calling to you

Sometimes the God’s voice finds us in unexpected ways, like the stooped form of a character actress in a classic film—breaking through just as loudly and forcefully as an angelic visitation. My friends, we have been taken, blessed, and broken to provide morsels that feed the world. How do we understand this beautiful demand better? That’s what we’ll talk about this Thursday as we continue our Lenten study, Fasting and Feasting. Join us at 7:30pm CDT. You’ll be glad you did!

Peace, with much love,
Pastor Tim