For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:26 ESV)
In my town of Pottstown, Pennsylvania (United States), several churches are networked in a “Community Meal” program. One of the sites, First Presbyterian, is sponsored by Kiwanis. Today I shared in the rewarding joy of serving people who may not be looking for anything gourmet, but just nourishing and modestly enjoyable. Among them are some of the poor of Pottstown, and a few of them perhaps homeless. Whatever their socioeconomic status, that would not be that relevant, and indeed none of my business. My role in the Community Meal is to serve, period.
Now on to the nitty-gritty. I arrived at 3:45 pm, started preparing the meal with fellow Kiwanians in my club, and then by 5pm, the meal started and the guests were welcomed. We wore red hats with the words “Community Meal.” The pastor said the grace. I served an option of a chicken breast or one or two pork chops, placing the pork or chicken on their plate in my jolly and whimsical way (e.g., chicken or pork…okay pork, and a one, and a two…my pleasure, enjoy!). Or, if they opted for chicken, they may ask for a certain piece, and I am delighted to honor their request. Neighboring me was one serving vegetables, namely whole potatoes, string beans, and carrots.
When all attendants were served, the volunteers (in this case, me and the other Kiwanians) could finally eat the leftovers. Since I don’t like bone-in chicken breast, all I ate was white potatoes (mediocre) and bread and butter (much tastier). Other tasty perks were a piece of cake (the literal dessert food, not the idiom), plus icing from both the chocolate and vanilla cakes. Talk about some sweet rewards!
Kiwanis International is a global civic service club with a special focus on children. While adults obviously also reap their benefits (and this Community Meal is doubtless one of them), remember, all adults are “ex-children” and what you do for children will impact what their do later in life.
And as a Christian, I believe volunteering is a wonderful way to express love for your neighbor.