Been having an interesting thing happen locally...several lessons to be discerned.
For those of y’all distant...we live in the middle hole of the Bible belt…it is a blessed and special place. Things that are “normal” elsewhere are “unusual” here. There is nowhere else I’d rather be.
Here is what is occurring.
Apparently there are two women who are going from house to house selling children’s magazines. In and of itself not that unusual...though less a common occurrence today than in days past.
A couple of things make these encounters different.
First, the ladies “ain’t from around here.” I was told that they spoke with accents and that one said she was from “Astonia”….I suspect the reporter meant “Estonia”. Estonia is a former Soviet Union conquest that has a long, rich history of independence and liberty. A wonderful people. Get the movie “The Singing Revolution.” It is an account of how the people of Estonia defeated a repressive government...hummm...with a song. Yes, with singing. This happened in our life times. Yep, I know. Most likely you have never heard about it. Watch the movie.
But, I digress.
So? A couple of hard-working individuals. What is the big deal?
Some of their actions have been interesting...described as “weird”, “strange”, “freaking people out” and the like.
On one occasion one of the ladies asked for some toothpaste.
Another asked for a sandwich or a granola bar.
Another asked for a drink.
Different? In our community, yes. Folk here would do anything for each other, but it is a little outside the norm to have a door to door salesperson (I’m so PC!) to asked for food.
But, should be be fearful? Should we be offended?
No. In most of the world this would be common.
In many places in our society we see such...beggars, those who work street corners, etc.
The Word of the Lord tells us about such situations.
The Lord tell us what to do.
There are dozens of verses in the Word which speak to meeting the needs of those who are poor, who are homeless, the stranger among us, the traveler, the hungry, the thirsty.
11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
2 Cor 9:7-15
7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
9 as it is written, "HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER."
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;
11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.
12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.
13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,
14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
We are to meet the needs of the poor.
We are to feed the hungry.
We are to give drink to the thirsty.
We are to give as we have purposed in our hearts...that is an interesting phrase…
We are to give cheerful...not by compulsion, manipulation, witchcraft.
Even if it is a “scary” Estonian children book saleslady…
Who knows when we may be entertaining an “angel unawares”?
13 Let brotherly love continue.
2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Do not forget to entertain strangers.
Do not be fearful.
Certainly, be wise in the Spirit.
Let the Love of the Lord be manifest in your life.
Aggressively sow the seed of provision from the Lord through us to others…
Today’s reading from the “So That’s Why?” Bible consists of pp. 1274-1278.