A MESSAGE FOR THIS MONTH
This tale about “Stone Soup” is an old one.
It is about a starving penniless man who stumbles into a village. There he fails to find anyone at all who can spare him a crumb of food. So what does he do? He puts a stone and water into a pot over a fire he manages to ignite. One by one the villagers are intrigued and come to watch him as he stirs his “stone soup”. Eventually, one brings a couple of potatoes and drops them into the pot; another drops a few carrots to add to the mix. One person adds an onion, another a handful of barley and yet another a few scraps of roast lamb. A farmer donates some milk. Eventually the “stone soup” becomes a tasty chowder.
This little story is more make-believe than fact. It illustrates the value of contributing what we can even if it seems insignificant. A Bible example of what I mean, St. John Ch 6, tells of a boy who appears to be the only person in a huge crowd who thought ahead and brought some food with him – a few small loaves of bread and a few fishes. The disciples had little regard for the youth`s sparse lunch, but he brought it, contributed it and shared it to immense and memorable benefit.
This is the lesson for the minister, the trustees, the deacons and all the members of the congregational church. In the metaphor of making soup, we only need to add what we have. In the story of feeding five thousand people with only five loaves and two fishes the lesson is the same. We don`t have to feed the five thousand. We just have to bring the loaves and fishes. We all have something to offer, something to bring to the church.
Let me encourage you. There are a few members we all see making a visible or audible contribution to the running of the church and its worship services. But please think about this – there are more who do a lot that we might not see, but they come, do what they can, even unnoticed, and make the church a better church with a sustainable future for what they add to it. I`m sure you are one of these. If not you can be. Just bring your loaves and fishes. Donate what you have – your effort, your talent and then step back and smell the chowder.
Perish the thought you might think “I am nothing. I have no gifts.” Rather be assured, and think as the Bible invites you to think. God used hesitant, inarticulate Moses to lead Israel to freedom. God used a simple carpenter and a peasant girl to raise His son Jesus. He used men of herds and flocks and fishing boats to accomplish His work and record His words.
We all have what it takes to make “Stone Soup”.