‘Tonight, I'm not homeless’

Have you ever sat down for dinner with a complete stranger? Better yet, have you ever paid a lot of money to eat with someone vastly different from you? At one hundred dollars a plate, that’s exactly what happened at a Manhattan church event designed to bring benefactors and homeless to the same table. Catered by The New York Palace and The Waldorf-Astoria hotels, guests enjoyed fine candlelit dining, along with formally dressed servers and the soft sounds of piano and saxophone.

The power of fellowship

One noteworthy guest, sportswriter Peter King, sat with a man who’s been homeless for ten years. At one point, while eating his fourth piece of turkey, the man announced, “Tonight, I’m not homeless.” What a moment—a beautiful glimpse into the power of fellowship in a setting of equality and dignity! With nearly five hundred patrons, the meal brought a bit of heaven to earth. “Artie Stone, 58, another guest, said: ‘The idea of well-to-do and struggling people side-by-side is like having the lion and the lamb lay down together.’” Indeed, experiencing this event must have brought the kind of joy that is a gift from our Creator.

The power of God

Sadly, that’s almost never what we experience through our encounters with the poor. Often times, when we are confronted by the needy, we are caught off-guard and unable to respond or even look the person in the eye. We find it easier to turn and look the other direction, as if the person does not exist. Following Christ means responding differently. God asks us to love our neighbor and care for the poor, the stranger, and those in need. Just imagine what it would be like if you knew the names of most of the poor living in your area. What a joy to be able to engage in conversation, to offer friendship simply through the dignity of acknowledgement, and possibly even pray for one another, remembering that we all are equal in God’s eyes.

Question of the day: Do you have relationships with those living in chronic poverty?

Focal Scriptures: Matthew 8:19-20; John 12:1-8; Isaiah 65:23-25

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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