Hello folks, Andrew Terry here for The Refuge Homeless Shelter of Lapeer.
Today (Oct. 24) an email went out to our mailing list talking about how people can volunteer for check-in training.
Did you get that email? If not maybe you are not on our mailing list. Go to http://www.therefugelapeer.org/subscribe to subscribe to receive updates and emails from The Refuge.
I know what you are thinking, "Why would I want to sign up for yet another email?" Good question. We send out many different types of emails: news about events, volunteer opportunities, fund raisers, and even when there is an emergency need on behalf of the guests.
So, go to http://www.therefugelapeer.org/subscribe now and subscribe.
So far, of the 19 weeks we plan to be open, 14 weeks are filled, thank God. But we still have 5 weeks yet to be filled. Three of those weeks are during December.
Folks, I don’t need to tell you what holiday is in the month of December. It is Christmas. The celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it saddens me of all the weeks and months for the Church, who is called by Christ, who worships Christ, who is called by his name, is not helping the "least of these" during CHRISTmas!
Would you turn away Jesus during the holidays because it is inconvenient, he would get in the way, he would mess up all your plans? Would you turn him away because you are too busy with decorating, wrapping presents, cooking, and attending parties?
Let's re-think the holidays. Let's re-think what the Christmas is all about. Let's truly celebrate Christmas by bringing Jesus, the homeless savior, into your church this season.
Today, I want to read from Matthew.
"Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Mt 8:18–20
We have a person, a scribe, someone who wants to follow Jesus. Scribes copied the laws and religious texts of the Jews. This allowed them to pass down the scriptures from one generation to the next. They had firsthand experience reading, and copying scripture, letter by letter.
This scribe seen Jesus and knew he must be the Christ the Old Testament talked about. Where Jesus went, he wanted to go; what Jesus did, he wanted to do. Or so he thought.
Jesus' response to him was, "“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Jesus had no place to call his home. No place of rest. No place of refuge. Could the scribe live the same life? Could he live the life Jesus lived, homeless, traveling from place to place?
We have this same dilemma. Will we follow Jesus even into homelessness? Now, I am not saying we all should move out of our homes and live on the streets. But, maybe, we need to start to spiritually live as if we are homeless.
What do I mean by this, I mean, we should start to empathize with the homeless. We should try to understand them, get to know them, and see where we can help. When Jesus said we should care for the poor, the hungry, and the imprisoned, he was not talking about people that where far away, that lived on that side of town. He was talking about himself, people like him: poor, hungry, homeless.
So, this week, think about the homeless in your thoughts and prayers.
The question of the week is: Do you have any personal experience of homelessness? Tell us your story. Look for the post on our Facebook page and join the conversation.
For now, this is Andrew, signing off – Seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.