I was sick and you took care of me…
Here at Patterson Community Church we take our call to be a presence of grace and a force for good within our community very seriously. The words above, taken from Matthew 25 remind us that whenever we take the time to reach out and care for the sick or struggling amongst us we are doing it as unto the Lord directly. This past Sunday we delved into the problem of substance abuse in our community and sought to convey that the scourge of addiction is no respecter of person or status but rather that all are subject to being impacted by its tragic presence among us.
‘Visiting the sick’ among us is not simply going to the hospital on occasion to see a friend in need, but rather committing to a lifestyle of caring for all those in need within our local community whether you know them or not. Sometimes the best medicine someone can have is simply knowing that someone else cares about you and is concerned for your well-being. And sometimes the ‘sick’ among us are not actually in the hospital or exhibiting signs of distress whatsoever but rather are feeling not whole for other reasons.
Late last month we observed Holy Week just prior to Easter and talked of the events in Jesus’ life just before his arrest and crucifixion. One of the teachings we looked at involved the washing of the disciple’s feet by Jesus as an example of the care he was willing to take for those he loved. In the times of Jesus and even unto today in desert or arid regions there is often a scarcity of water, and people’s sandaled feet become dirty from the dust and heat of the day. Jesus sought to teach that by offering to do the lowly task of washing another’s feet one would be demonstrating the depth of love and service we all must be willing to extend to truly love one another.
In this day and age and within our culture and society however we no longer need to or have occasion to wash another’s feet literally. However, as Chinese theologian Watchman Nee wrote in the mid-20th Century, even in this day and time, our daily walk through life can leave one feeling tired, broken, and soiled. The trials of each day can leave us worn out and in need of uplifting words or gestures of loving-kindness. And that is how we can imitate the servant love of Jesus, by seeking each day to wash another’s feet with a kind word or an act of gentle compassion.
We believe that this is our call, to be a source of grace and goodness within this place and at this time in our community. Several months ago we began a fund-drive to pay for the new roof on our Fellowship Hall which houses our Blue Door Thrift Shop. Through the kindness of many we are over three quarters of the way to our goal. But more importantly, the support we have and continue to receive from so many allows us to walk forward in service seeking to wash the feet of all who are in need and to feed and clothe those among us who lack sufficient resources. Thank you every one who has joined in our efforts to reach out in love to those around us in need…for truly when we do this to the least of these among us…we do it directly unto the Lord…
…blessings, david frost – pastor
Patterson Community Church, Box 298, Patterson, NY 12563