An Invitation to the Table
by Kim Allen, Director of SHINE Children's Ministry
Have you ever come home from vacation, hauled all your stuff through the front door and have your family collapse into a heap on the floor because everyone was so hangry? You then proceed to the kitchen to find the only thing in your fridge is the previous Wednesday’s leftovers and out-of-date milk.
It’s a hard place for a mama to be. If only there were something, anything--a Ritz cracker, some apple juice, even a Pop-tart would do right now
It wouldn’t be a stretch for me to admit that I’ve found myself in this situation many times—and not just after a long weekend away. If I’m truthful, my spiritual fridge is often empty too.
I’ll read something great, or listen to a sermon, and I’m feeling rather fat and happy with how Jesus and I are doing. Then I might go a few days, deal with some difficult situations, or even just plain ol’ everyday wear-and-tear, and I find myself famished.
This is when I must be reminded that Jesus invites me to His table all day, every day. There is never a shortage with Him, never a moment when His pantry is empty. He is never unable to satisfy the deepest hunger within me, for whatever it is that my soul is lacking.
In John 6, right after miraculously feeding 5000 people, Jesus makes a bold claim: “I Am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.” He had just taken five loaves and two fish from a child’s lunch box and satisfied the hunger of thousands, and now puts a spiritual truth into the context of everyday life.
Jesus knew what He was doing when He connected the basic necessities—water, bread, light—to Himself. With these common elements, He reminds us that He is not only the Creator, but the Sustainer of life –both physical and spiritual. A day without Jesus is a long day indeed.
Not only does He sustain us, He fills our kitchen to overflowing that we may feed others with our surplus—and for parents, this is especially good news. What parents can feed their children from an empty refrigerator? Only when I am nurturing my own soul with the Bread of Life can I give that bounty to my children.
In SHINE Children’s Ministry, we want to feed children spiritually. But more importantly, we recognize that your children eat at your spiritual table every single day. We want to help you stock your own kitchen, that you may feel equipped to feed and nurture your children in the faith. The Breadbox is one way that we intend to offer encouragement and practical application, while keeping you informed on the ways that SHINE is endeavoring to partner with you in this wonderful challenge of helping children be nourished by the Bread of Life.
So pull up a chair (and a high-chair), and let’s begin the meal.
The Breadbox is our new Children's Ministry email. This monthly publication arrives chock-full information about SHINE, but also tips and resources on how you can disciple your small people.