Serving at The Banquet

This afternoon we make our annual “pilgrimage” to The Banquet in Sioux Falls, SD to serve supper (see The Banquet for more information on this ministry). Salem, Belmont and Bethany Lutheran Churches bring about 35 to 40 people to serve supper for people who are homeless or just need a hot meal.  When I called last week to plan the meal I was told that The Banquet is expecting to serve about 500 people that day (numbers have been up from previous years).  In the past we have served 465, 421, 363, 396 people.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about the increase of people needing a hot meal considering the economy.

But as I think about making the necessary preparations to bring this group to Sioux Falls I find myself looking at our Gospel text for Sunday from Mark 12:38-44 (“The widow’s offering”).  Scripture commands us to care for the alien, the widow and the orphans.  Now I am not calling The Banquet guest “aliens” or anything of the sort, but they are people we are called (and commanded) to care for.  I mean…for the most part we live lives of abundance.  You have food in your refrigerator and you probably have a good idea where lunch and supper is coming from.  You probably even know what you are going to eat at those meals.  For the guests that utilize The Banquet for the livelihood, they don’t know…they don’t even know for sure if they can even get in to have a hot meal.  It depends if they get in line soon enough and the number of people there.  There are so many questions for those guests, but not so much for us.

A friend of mine has told me that they get frustrated with themselves because they feel they don’t do enough for others.  But maybe, just maybe, the poor widow from Mark 12 can teach us something:  It’s not the amount but the sacrifice.

I am looking forward to tonight; looking forward to what God is going to do through each of us…for His glory.

Praise be to God!

-edh-

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4 responses to “Serving at The Banquet

  1. good for you! one of the high points of my ministry in rural South Dakota was when we served at the Banquet in Watertown.

  2. heartofapastor

    What a great night.

    We ended up serving 394 people.

  3. Eric,
    I’ve had so many good experiences introducing people to the full breadth and depth of the earthly power of our faith by helping them serve others. Kids and adults alike are transformed by both seeing the need and seeing the power in Christ’s body to serve those in need.
    thanks for sharing.
    John

    • heartofapastor

      It has always been a good experience for those who have served at The Banquet. In the past years I have served in the dining room pouring milk and carrying trays for people. People were always very appreciative. This year I was in the dish room but people still went out of their way to stick their head in the dish room window to say thank you. The Banquet is a valuable ministry.