It seems that no matter with whom one talked after Thanksgiving Day, the conversation turned to the many leftovers. The concerns of many were how to divide the leftovers and how many days they would be able to eat from the leftovers.
In spite of all the crisis situations that we have become accustomed to talking about within the last two years, we had to acknowledge that we are still a country that is tremendously blessed by the Lord. In so many instances we can talk about surpluses and leftovers.
In the Old Testament agrarian society, God promised that He will satisfy the needs of this people and that He will bless their fields and their flocks. They will have their needs filled abundantly. In the time of harvest of the fields, they were commanded to leave portions of their fields intentionally unharvested so that the orphans, the widows and the needy people will find a place to harvest and thus have food as well.
One of the glorious events during the Israelite’s wandering in the desert is when the people were asked to bring gifts for the construction of the tabernacle. The story goes that they brought so many gifts that Moses asked them to stop because there was no more room for the gifts (Exodus 36:6-7). In the Twenty-third Psalm, we read that because of the goodness of the Lord, our cups overflow.
I was thinking on these leftovers, on the absence of room when the tabernacle was built, on the overflowing cups, when one of my students wrote a master’s thesis on the increasing hunger on our planet. In the week that I read that paper, I read that one of the largest denominations in the USA gives only about 2.6% to denominational work outside of their own churches. The denomination had to reduce the number of missionaries they sent because the giving has drastically decreased.
I was thinking of the hungry and the homeless. I was thinking about what will happen in this country if each of us who has one extra room where no one has slept for years, will invite a homeless person to move with us. What a wonderful testimony the church can give just like the church in Acts where we read, “They gave to anyone as he had need.” (Acts 2:45b)
I am surprised at how each letter to the seven churches of Revelation ends with, “Let him who has ears hear what the Lord has to say” to the churches. It may be that God is speaking to us again about what He wants us to do with our blessings and our leftovers. Maybe the church can again become the place where there are no needs because God’s people have learned to share.