This week for our Homeless Church series, we're grateful to learn together with a very special guest speaker: Juan Galloway, President and CEO of New York City Relief.
Have you ever wondered who Jesus was in his everyday life? We do know Jesus loved people. In fact, much of Jesus' ministry happened around a table. He performed his first miracle at a wedding reception, where he turned water into wine. Even when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he made a meal for his disciples... the stories of Jesus around the dinner table go on and on! While we know Jesus spoke to huge crowds, over and over again he knit close relationships with people in their own homes...entering their inner world and going deeper with them.
BUILD A LONGER TABLE
Perhaps you have heard this phrase before: "When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence." True to this phrase, I think the reason Jesus spent so much time eating with people is because he knew the way to a man's heart is through his stomach! He wanted to dive into people's lives to know their hearts because they mattered to him.
This is why today, I want to thank you for sleeping outside during the Homeless Church outreach. You are helping New York City Relief build a longer table. The funds raised through your participation will help us add more New York City Relief mobile outreaches throughout New York and New Jersey... so people struggling with homelessness will have somewhere to turn when they are at the end of their rope!
See, for 30 years, New York City Relief has been making a space at the table for people living on the streets: Quite literally! We set up chairs and tables for people to come, sit down, rest, enjoy a delicious cup of soup and spend time with people who care. When these people come together around the table, they experience the love and presence of God.
WHAT DOES THE TABLE REPRESENT?
You may be wondering: What does making space at the table even mean? The table represents your time, resources, heart, emotions, and faith. It's all about sharing the deepest part of who you are with other people...with no thought of getting anything in return. But, God has a way of giving back way more than you give when you make space at the table for the poor and powerless. When we interact with the poor, we are the ones who end up feasting on the presence of Christ and learning from those who are rich in faith.
All this said, I want to challenge you today: To let Jesus come sit at your table...To go meet someone on the streets and invite them to a New York City Relief mobile outreach... and to continue to accept the challenge to get out of your seats and into the streets.
To learn more about New York City Relief or to sign-up to volunteer at a mobile outreach, visit NewYorkCityRelief.org.