March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Illustration by Jon Dengler
Today Christians remember the torture, execution, and burial of Jesus Christ, and we call it Good Friday.

Today we recall that he who had power became weak. He whose voice spoke truth and grace was insulted, mocked, and spat upon. He lived as a homeless wandering heretic and he died as a criminal and an outcast. He became a cautionary tale for any would-be prophets with illusions of grandeur.

God crucified does not look much like we might imagine God enthroned would look. Instead, he looks like those with whom he spent most of his time during his ministry. And he makes a direct association with them, saying " you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." He identified with their exile, with their nakedness, with their need, and with their pain.

No longer can we look on those who suffer and be content to think "It's their own fault." For he who was without fault was made to suffer unjustly. No longer can we avoid the glance of an outsider, for he numbered himself among them. No longer can we despise the poor, wretched sinners, for where else should we expect to find God? He is with us poor, wretched sinners in a way that is scandalous and horrifying and we call it Good.

“When God becomes man in Jesus of Nazareth, he not only enters into the finitude of man, but in his death on the cross also enters into the situation of man's godforsakenness. In Jesus he does not die the natural death of a finite being, but the violent death of the criminal on the cross, the death of complete abandonment by God...He humbles himself and takes upon himself the eternal death of the godless and the godforsaken, so that all the godless and the godforsaken can experience communion with him.”  -J├╝rgen Moltmann, The Crucified God

March 19, 2013

Serve Up!

This past week, 74 students from InterVarsity chapters at the University of New Hampshire, Bridgewater State, Bryant University, and Connecticut College traveled by bus to spend their Spring break working with several microchurches of the Underground Network. Here at The Well, they put a lot of muscle and determination into transforming our food pantry into what looks a lot more like a grocery store. Under the supervision of Luke of the Timothy Initiative, they moved everything out, ripped up carpet, painted the walls, ceiling, and floor, and cut out expanded doors and even a food-service window, and put it all back together again. It looks beautiful, and we are grateful to be blessed by a group that could have been soaking up the sun all week, but chose this instead. Crazy kids. Who does that? To come to Florida for Spring break, only to spend the week volunteering? That kind of crazy fits in well around here.

And their work has made a difference around here. We have taken to calling our food pantry the Free Market, because we want to emulate the experience that one normally gets when paying for things, but at no cost to the shopper. All of the improvements made to The Well make the shopper's experience smoother, and they help to convey the idea that someone prepared all of this for you. We take for granted that we are valued enough by our grocery stores for them to make the store an attractive and convenient place to shop. For those who cannot afford to shop at those same stores, acquiring food is not always a pleasant and affirming experience. With help from InterVarsity's Serve Up team, we have space for more food and a better environment for people to shop in. 

Because of their sacrifice of a Spring break's worth of beach partying, we are better able to exercise compassion and convey dignity to our neighbors. Thanks for that, guys. It really means the world to us. 

March 1, 2013

What Did We Do This Month?

During the shortest month of the year, our pantry gave away 2,452 lbs of groceries to neighbors and families that needed it. We served 430 hot meals and provided clothing and hygiene products to 63 folks. 
We are excited to do it again in March and we could also use your help to restock our supplies.