Sunday, July 26
The Lord’s Day
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Minute for Mission: Metropolitan/Urban Ministry
“Hey, mister, can I have one of those hot dogs? Are they free? Can I have more than one? Why are you giving all this food away? What’s your name? Can I help you cook?” Such was the barrage of questions from my new young friend, Trell, at our church’s annual Big Lunch event. You see, here in Rochester, New York, we take the actions of Jesus as seriously as his words. On several occasions, Jesus fed hungry people. So every summer on the first weekend in June, each of the 10 congregations in the consortium we call Urban Presbyterians Together invites its neighbors over for free food, fellowship, and fun.
On this Saturday afternoon, I was working the grill, serving hot dogs and hamburgers. That’s when Trell showed up. After his barrage of questions, I let him help me. For the next two hours, Trell helped me turn hot dogs and flip hamburgers; he helped me serve food to all our neighbors. As we talked about basketball, school, family, and living in the city, Trell and I worked together. He was so excited to help. He told me, with that big smile, how good it was to give these hungry people something to eat: “I know what it’s like be hungry, so this is cool.”
It’s interesting that in John 6 Jesus doesn’t do any preaching. He just feeds hungry people. Through his actions, others see his heart and want to follow him. One of the major tasks of our urban congregations is to be good neighbors. Often that means just being a servant and making sure people are fed. May God bless us and all urban ministries as we try to follow Jesus’ example.
—Tedd Pullano: pastor, New Life Presbyterian Church, Rochester, New York; convener, Urban Presbyterians Together
Let us pray
Creator God, you are the God of the city. This day we ask your blessing on all who live and serve in your cities. May we be filled with your compassion and bring your love to all who so desperately need it. Through your Son, Jesus the Christ, we pray. Amen.
Sunday Lectionary and Hymns
2 Sam. 11:1–15
“Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”
GTG 65, HB 339, PH 281
“The Foolish in Their Hearts Deny”
“O Love, How Deep,
How Broad, How High”
GTG 618, PH 83
“Lord, Speak to Me That
I May Speak”
GTG 722, HB 298, PH 426