Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Peter Eller

“ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND! … PHAROAH SAYS MAKE MORE BRICKS!” The words roared out of the loudspeaker.  

It was a Saturday in September, well into the second day of a food packing operation for Hands Against Hunger in Good Shepherd’s Parish Hall. The goal was to produce one hundred thousand bags of a nutritionally balanced mixture designed to strengthen the human body against starvation. The work was part of our participation in God’s Work, Our Hands that year. Ten identical assembly lines were humming, staffed by members of Good Shepherd and another local church. 

This would perhaps be the only food available to a starving child in Africa or maybe Haiti.  The food would be the metaphorical equivalent of the manna given to the Israelites on their long journey back to the promised land.

And he rained down upon them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven.  Psalm 78:24

The amusing reference to Pharoah made by the minister from the other church…were we “slaves” too as the Israelites had been?  Good Shepherd’s people were certainly working hard. 

A melodic rhythm of weighing, measuring, bagging, counting, and packing bags of dry food ingredients demanded steady concentration.  At the end of each line an unending flow of filled cartons moved toward a waiting truck.  The persistent hum of activity was mesmerizing.  The excitement and energy were contagious.

For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.   1Corinthians 3:9 

As the loudspeaker sounded again and again urging us on, the production of food packets continued until the barrels of ingredients were finally all gone.   

Now we had exceeded our goal and found humbling comfort in the words of Jesus.

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40

We slept well that night.

The next day was Sunday. The Parish Hall was quiet, with no trace of the previous day’s activities. But, once again, it seemed a hallowed place to all of us…once again we felt God’s presence.

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