Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A trail of crumbs

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Acts 6, 7; Psalm 149

Acts 6:1-4; 7 (NIV)

1 In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right to neglect the ministry of the Word of God in order to wait on tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”

7 So the Word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Good morning!

I stood at the front of the church Sunday morning, holding the cup of life in my hands and offering it to the people of Faith, whom I love. I couldn’t help but notice the trail of bread crumbs falling on the floor in front of my feet. The communion bread was extraordinarily fresh. Every time a piece of bread was torn from the loaf, crumbs would begin to fall to the floor. A trail of crumbs formed at the front of the sanctuary leading to the kneeling cushions in front of the altar, where grateful ones stopped to pray and offer their lives to the Lord.

Praise God for the trail of crumbs that feeds and leads us back to His living Word. Every tiny gift is like a crumb of grace, marking the path as we travel toward home. I marveled at the grace and hospitality of our conference host, Christ United Methodist Church, in Memphis, Tennessee. Cindy and I had traveled there last weekend to attend a conference for General and Jurisdictional delegates and all United Methodists, committed to the renewal and unity of the church. There couldn’t have been a more perfect place to host this meeting. No matter where you look at Christ Church, you cannot help but notice the cross of Christ. It is prevalent on every door of the facility. The door handles were fashioned into crosses. Glass cross inserts were placed in the center of every wooden door. Each window pane bore a unique cross-shaped design. Even the window trimmings, including the shades, displayed the emblem of salvation. It is truly the focal point in the worship center and sanctuary. Whenever I see the cross of Christ, I am reminded of His trail of blood, shed for you and for me. I have no doubt the message of the cross is alive and well at Christ United Methodist Church.

The disciples recognized the importance of caring for the hungry in their community. There were growing concerns about the widows, who were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. Seven men, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, were selected to offer daily food to the poor and help meet the needs of those in their community. As the Word was proclaimed and people were being fed, the Good News of Jesus Christ spread rapidly throughout the region and many hearts were converted. The living Word spreads quickly, like the incoming tide of the ocean at dusk. A virtual ripple effect, the Gospel washes over us, not only through preaching and teaching, but through random acts of kindness and charity. The food we offer to the hungry is like a trail of life-giving crumbs, leading hearts back to the Lord. No random act of kindness will ever go unnoticed, when it is offered as an act of faith in Christ. God can use every humble heart to leave a trail of grace, pointing the way toward home.

Last weekend, we were fed the living, breathing Word of God. We heard it in the spoken words of our clergy and laity. We saw it in the faces of the ushers, greeters, worship team, and staff. Needs were met with grace and in love. Every recipient of the bread and cup carries a trail of crumbs that can lead another person to the Lord. Is there a trail of grace forming behind your footsteps?

Last Friday morning, an unusual sight caught my eye. It was a chilly, fall day, and I was anxious to find a cup of hot coffee to drink. At the continental breakfast offered in the lobby of our hotel, I was searching for the coffee pot, when Cindy pointed out the tap fixtures on the wall. I’d never seen an unlimited supply of coffee free flow out of a spigot on the wall! That coffee tasted pretty good; kind of like the sweet taste of salvation received through Jesus Christ alone.

You don’t have to look far to find a trail of crumbs today. Take some time this morning and ask yourself these questions: Are you being fed? If so, are you offering life-giving food to those who surround you? Are you leaving a trail of crumbs wherever you go? Will people experience the living Word of Christ through your random acts of kindness?

This is a great day to leave a trail. Someone is hungry. Someone is searching for Truth. Someone needs the cross of Christ today. Take your God-given gift mix and offer it up to the Lord in faith. What will He do through you?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


Pray for: a trail of crumbs! You don’t have to look far to follow faith. Offer your life, your gifts, and your whole heart to the Lord Jesus Christ. He will catch you up the unlimited supply in His amazing grace, and can use every humble heart to spread His Word today. Be a trail blazer, in Jesus name.


Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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