We feed their stomachs and fill their souls!
One of the most fruitful ministries of Hollywood Community Church is our Open Heart Food Pantry. Led by Vito Culicchia a team of more than twenty volunteers work week after week to purchase, pack and deliver groceries to more than 200 families. This past Saturday more than 260 families were loved, prayed with and fed.
It is important for us to realize that loving and feeding the poor is a very important, and often neglected part of the Gospel. I would remind you that it was Jesus that said in Luke 14:18, 19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind. To release the oppresed and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Without a doubt, those two verses are a messianic prophecy that envision Jesus as both a prophet and servant. Many would hold that it is Jesus’ mission statement as He declares what He would accomplish in the lives of those that believe on Him. Richard Stearns in his book The Hole in the Gospel emphatically states that the Gospel involves more than just evangelism. “The whole gospel is truly good news for the poor.” In other words we cannot simply change a man’s spiritual condition and ignore his physical needs.
I John 4:17 – But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in Him?
I am so proud of our Open Heat team. May God continue to use them to fill the stomach’s of the poor, but also to fill their soul with the life-changing message of the Gospel!