Good Book Club: John 6:35-39
I came to St. John’s, Grand Haven under the auspices of singing in the choir. Little did I know, filled with trembling and trepidation on those first few Sundays, that I would come to call St. John’s home, that St. John’s would reveal in me a new way of living.
Much of that changing happened in the choir loft, but it also happened in the kitchen. St. John’s has a fully licensed commercial kitchen, out of which two free meals are served for our community each week. It wasn’t long after I started reaching for soprano notes that I also reached for an apron, becoming one of the kitchen managers.
Every Sunday, I’ve joined my community on my knees at the altar rail, receiving again the bread of life that Jesus speaks of in John, chapter six. And on many Sundays and Wednesdays, I’ve toiled in the kitchen, surrounded by volunteers, as we prepare a meal to serve those who are hungry in our community, feeding ourselves in the process.
Many times, our guests aren’t physically hungry, but socially starved, emotionally withered, and spiritually wasted; many times, what they seek is the sort of bread that Jesus spoke of: bread from heaven, kindness like manna falling in a wilderness of isolation and loneliness, proof of God’s love borne out through my hands and the hands of all of the volunteers who have served in our kitchen.
What Jesus fed to the 5,000 wasn’t just bread, it was hope, an unending love, salvation. I hope that’s what we’re offering too in the kitchen at St. John’s. The love of God is made incarnate again in humble meals and shared company, as volunteers and hungry people alike come together for a meal, all finding themselves fed in different and necessary ways.