This thought-provoking post from The God Article blog touches on issues we at St Nicholas address through our food pantry. As many of us may remember from when our Holy Innocents Hall was constructed, we were stopped from accepting the donation of commercial-grade appliances for the kitchen by the village. It was thought that the reason for this was to prevent us from offering our space as a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. So this issue also applies to our humble efforts to serve Christ in others.
As a Christian, I know Jesus teaches us that we are to offer food to the hungry, to welcome the stranger, to give water to the thirsty — the least of these on the margins of society. But he goes much farther than that. He identifies with the least of these so much so that he says any time there is a hungry, thirsty or ostracized person, that person is Christ himself.
And if we don’t share our food, our water, or our welcome, then we are rejecting the Incarnation of God in this world.
That’s why the incident with Love Wins isn’t only about sharing food with the hungry and homeless. It isn’t just about the larger war on the hungry and the poor being waged in city councils, state houses, and in the federal government.
It isn’t even about the criminalization of homeless people, their advocates, and friends.
It is about the criminalization of Christ.