Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Stephanies

The story of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, begins in Acts, chapter 6.

It seems that there was a tradition in the early Christian church of feeding widows.  Greek Jews complained because their widows were being ignored in the "daily distribution of food" (Acts 6:1).

So the Twelve (the original disciples of Jesus, minus Judas Iscariot and plus Matthias) gathered the believers to suggest a solution:  pick seven men from among you, and the food distribution will be their responsibility. 

Stephen is the first man listed.  The first man to die for the Christian faith began his ministry, so to speak, in a soup kitchen. 

Once a month, on Wednesdays, I help serve lunch to our seniors' Bible class.  These are "seasoned" men and women who come to our church building to  listen to the word of God, and then stay to eat lunch afterwards.  Lunch is catered by a local restaurant.  Volunteers, mostly women, from my church help serve.  We are supervised by a wonderful servant of God. 

Our fearless leader has been in charge of serving lunch for about the last ten years.  She makes sure that the tables are set and decorated, that the food is ordered, and that the money for the food is collected.  She also encourages others to volunteer as well.  This past year, I decided to join the group and help serve lunch. 

Yesterday, I figured out the name of our group:  

The Stephanies. 

I said this to one of the women volunteering, and she said, "Huh?"  

When I explained, she laughed.  
It does sound a bit funny . . . but work with me here.    

People in the first church needed physical feeding as well as spiritual feeding. The Twelve couldn't do it all. They needed help to fill a legitimate need, and they wanted those people to be full of the Spirit and of wisdom.  "Waiting tables", in this case, was a service performed for God--perhaps you could say that it was an act of worship.  It is an act of caring, of making sure that a most basic need--the need for physical nourishment--is filled.  

We "Stephanies" do the same thing for our seniors' class.  They get their spiritual nourishment from their class, and then we give them their physical nourishment.  I don't know if I can say that I am "full of the Spirit and wisdom".  I have the Spirit, because every believer has the Spirit, but I am not sure if I am full of wisdom. 

But I do believe that offering food to these people is an act of service, just like when Stephen and his companions began their work of making sure that widows were fed.  

So that's why we should be the Stephanies.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

1 comment:

  1. And all of us Seniors are so thankful for what all these lovely women do for us.