Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cooking with Jesus

JR and Lenny, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
While JR was showing us around town, we stopped at his church in East Hollywood and he gave my dad a tour of the space. As we were walking around he introduced us to a guy named lenny who fixes two meals a day for the homeless people in the neighborhood. Lenny was a really cool guy who’s passion for Jesus shined through during our conversation. While I would like to capture for you everything he said during our short exchange, I’m afraid it would be extremely difficult, so I will just touch on highlights.

Lenny explained to us that he had been doing this ministry for a long while and that he was amazed at the food that was produced because with his limited ingredients, he couldn’t make food that tasted so good. But he was not alone in the kitchen. He was cooking with Jesus, and he said that Jesus made every meal very special and added something special to the meals to make them taste so good.

Lenny talked about cleanliness, and how much easier it is to keep something clean than it is to let it get really dirty and try to clean it. I feel like different area’s of my life have been a testimony to both sides of this story over the years too. Lenny provided me with a good reminder to keep on top of things the best I can. He said that as we let things go that they become burdens, and Jesus didn’t come for us to have burdens. We experience freedom when we don’t allow burdens to pile up on us day-by-day. Pretty cool insight.

As we talked Lenny shared with me a fresh insight with regard to the Bible being the “living Word”. He said that one of the ways the Bible comes alive is through us. You see we give the words life when we live them out. When we become advocates for the poor, or when we take the time to care for someone who feels like they can’t be cared for, we make the word of God come alive for that person. Sometimes I think we can get so self-centered in our faith that we forget about caring for this good world that God that has made, and all of those who inhabit it.

A few years ago, Lenny started cooking two meals a day for homeless people in East Hollywood. When he started, there were about 25 people each week who would come out. Actually, he said it was twenty five total people coming, but it was really the same five guys who all lived near the church. Sometimes only one or two would make it to a meal because the others were drunk and hungover. But Lenny labored, and shared His faith with these men and impacted them—one by one. And now, today, Lenny cooks food for about 60 different people each meal. God has expanded his ability to give, to care, and to impact the city with his meal ministry. He started the ministry, and he continues the ministry as a way of being Jesus to the world, and sharing His love and His hope in his neighborhood and beyond.

When we do care for the poor, the suffering, the downtrodden, the lonely, and the hurting in obedience to Jesus, we become his hands and feet to the world. We become the only Bible that many people read, and we change the landscape. Personally, I think the world needs to see more people who have trusted Jesus for their salvation being Jesus to the world around them. How are you being Jesus in your neighborhood?

1 comment:

jeff said...

Hey Billy,

Sorry I did not get your comment earlier--I would have enjoyed connecting while you were in Orlando. Glad I ran into you that morning at the ELG.

Jeff Kern