“If it’s not about Love, then it’s not about God”

The Most Rev, Michael Curry
27th Presiding Bishop of the EpiscopalChurch

This past Monday, Presidents Day, several Members and friends, adults, children and youth of St Thomas Church gathered at the Shoprite in Flemington for the annual Food Pantry Shopping Trip. They spread out through the store in pairs or clusters or on their own, with lists of items being sought and the amount they had to spend for each.

Special attention was paid this year to items for Easter dinner, but the lists covered a variety of other needs this year as well: personal care items, produce and meat. A total of 1,029 pounds of food and supplies, plus an additional two large boxes of onions that missed the first weigh-in. Our shoppers were efficient and determined.

The store management was very helpful. A long line of shopping carts full of food and supplies, totally $1663.00, which was under the budget of this year by $11.00!

Once everything was bagged and paid for, the supplies were loaded into cars and taken to the Flemington Food Pantry in Flemington, where they were placed on shelves and in freezers and bins, ready for clients to be able to come and receive what they needed to care for themselves and their families for another few days or a week. The clients are glad to have such a resource, glad to be fed. The volunteers from St Thomas and from the larger community were glad to be there, glad to be of service.

Many thanks to all who shopped and were part of this day, and also to all those whose generous donations helped make this happen. Special thanks to Linda Ubry, Michelle Wagner and Doug Walker for organizing the event and helping the helpers have such an important experience. Thisis one of the ways we live and share God’s love in our world.

The readings for this Sunday are about love, forgiveness, and generosity. The first reading is about Joseph and his encounter with the brothers who sold him into slavery. Instead of punishing them, he provides food for them in the famine, and invites them to get their father and come and live with him in safety and plenty. Forgiveness and love. (Genesis 45:3-11, 15)

In the gospel for this Sunday we read this:

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Jesus said, “I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you.’

Luke 6:27-38

If it’s not about Love, then it’s not about God.

As we move closer to the season of Lent, may we recognize our own need for God’s love and mercy, and may we be more and more willing to share that love with others in our hungry, hurting world. Every small bit makes a difference, and, together, we help to bring God’s loveinto a world that needs that love now, more than ever.

Let us pray:

O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Peace and blessing,

Carol+