Pastor Dave Ferguson shares a simple acronym that describes for us a practical way to B.L.E.S.S. our neighbors.
- B – Begin with prayer
- L – Listen
- E – Eat together
- S – Serve
- S – Share stories
This week, families will gather all across our country on Thanksgiving Day. They will share a meal together. They share the meal together because of the special bond between them. They are family!
We eat with others because we have a special bond with them. Eating together also creates a special bond. When I first came to New Jersey to begin my ministry as the Pastor of Good Shepherd, I arrived without my family. Barbara and I did not want to pull our daughter out of school one month before Summer break. So I travelled to New Jersey by myself while the family stayed behind so our daughter could finish the school year.
I spent that month living in an empty house, and I asked the church to feed me. I extended the invitation for them to invite me to dinner. And they came through. There was hardly a night I did not have a meal provided. I was welcomed into the homes of many of our families. I might have been away from my family, but during the course of that month, I discovered a new family.
I can still remember each one of those meals that I shared. And there is a connection with those people that simply does not exist with people with whom I have not broken bread. I can’t fully explain it. But I am sure that you understand. This is one of the reasons it is so important that families prioritize eating together. Families that eat together, stay together.
Do you want to be a blessing? Invite someone to share a meal! Do you want to assure someone else that they belong? Invite them to share a meal! Do you want to be a friend? Invite someone to share a meal!
Jesus seems to have understood this better than anyone else. He gives us an invitation to join him for his meal – the Lord’s Supper. Don’t lose the fact that one of the Sacraments is a meal. There is nothing that communicates that you belong like eating together. And our belief is that this meal is shared with us to give us the faith and assurance that God welcomes us into his family. In giving us his body and blood, Jesus says, “You belong!”