November 26, 2021 Stacy Lowe

Feed My Sheep

Feed My Sheep

If you talk to anyone about Thanksgiving, you’ll quickly find that much of the emphasis is on the food.  I’ve been asked several times in the past weeks, “What’s on your Thanksgiving Day menu?” People love to ask others about their favorite Thanksgiving dishes. In some families, it’s all about the bird.  Others rave about homemade mac-n-cheese or stuffing. Dessert plays a big role in the meal, too.  And…hello - we cannot forget the gravy!  

Food seems to be important in many situations.  When you get together with family, it’s typically over a meal.  Birthdays are celebrated with special dinners.  Brides and grooms host feasts after their wedding ceremonies for their guests.  Even at funerals we end our time together breaking bread. 

Eating together is important in Scripture

In the Bible, most major events included food. All the Jewish festivals in the Old Testament included meals – Passover, the feast of first fruits, Pentecost (or the Feast of Weeks), and Sukkot (or the Feast of Booths).  God was very specific about what foods His people were to eat and how to celebrate these dinners so that His people would be reminded of Him.  

Jesus’ first miracle happened at a wedding feast.  Many of the parables that Jesus told were about meals – the wedding banquet and the prodigal son story both ended in a feast.  We cannot leave out the last supper where Jesus institutes the pattern we follow for our communion. When Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to the apostles in Luke 22, he eats and drinks with them.  

God knew that dining together was so much more than food

Eating together is so much more than a physical act.  It brings people together, face to face.  It creates an environment where you can share life together.  It nourishes the people physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  

Feed my sheep

In John 21 it says that Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him.  Peter emphatically says yes and Jesus replies, “Then feed my lambs”.  The message for us is simple: if we love Jesus, we should feed people. We live in a world that is starving in every way. I’m so thankful to be a member of a Church family that has taken this command to heart.  This week 1800 meals were prepped and delivered to people all over Stark County.  Over 600 families filled their cars and their cupboards with groceries this month.  The best part is that the NCCOC family doesn’t stop there.  This month 19 students went to a youth rally and learned that they aren’t alone in their journey to follow Christ.  They were fed the Word of God in ways that touched their hearts. Tears and prayers flowed freely among our youth group.  There are many of our brothers and sisters who have lost loved ones this month.  People made calls and texts and visits so that those who were hurting were fed emotionally.  Bible studies and small groups have been feasting on the Word week in and week out.  Our children have been devouring the scriptures in Bible class. Our online service hit a milestone - 5,000 unique viewers have joined us for worship online – people of this world are famished.  The question Jesus is asking you is “Do you love Me?” If the answer is yes, get involved.  You have been given the Bread of Life – make sure no one around you goes hungry.

Ministry Spotlight:

         This past month…

·      90 seniors got food boxes

·      244 people received clothing this month

·      1800 hot meals were made and delivered

·      679 families received food

·      19 students and 10 adults went to the Belpre Youth Rally

·      Multiple in-person and online Bible studies took place that were led by NCCOC members