A Message for You — November 5, 2009

Help those in need

by REV. HELEN H. COLLIN
North Kent Presbyterian Church

We’ve just had Halloween, which means that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Christmas decorations and sale items have been in some stores for several weeks already. It is a wonderful, festive time of year, but not for everyone. For some, the holidays create stress on an already overstretched budget. For others, it’s the first Thanksgiving or Christmas without a loved one who passed away this year. For still others, holiday gatherings highlight the fact that they are lonely.

I read once about two men who got together for dinner one night and started to talk about the lessons they had learned from their fathers over the years. One man remembered that every time something went wrong, his father would say, “Just remember the turtle on the post.” As a young man, he didn’t pay much attention and didn’t really have any idea what his father meant by that. Eventually, as he grew a little more mature, he heard his father say it again, “Remember the turtle on the post.” This time he stopped his dad and asked him, “What about the turtle on the post? You always say that. What do you mean?”

His father looked at him and said, “Do you know how the turtle got up on the post?”

“No,” the young man answered.

“No?” said his father. “Well, he had help.”

Think about it. Where would we be without family, friends, neighbors or fellow Christians to help, advise and encourage us. The turtle needed help, and sometimes we do too. And sometimes we are the ones called upon to help, to offer comfort to those who grieve, companionship to those who are alone and food to those who are hungry.

In these tough economic times, some of us will have plenty of food on our Thanksgiving tables, and more gifts under the Christmas tree than we know what to do with. Meanwhile, the North Kent Service Center (NKSC) is struggling to meet the needs of record numbers of clients who have lost jobs this year. Several years ago at our church we started “Bring a Turkey to Church” Sunday to help provide turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. Now we’ve learned that it is easier for the NKSC to purchase turkeys with our cash donations at better prices than we as individuals can get, so we’re letting go of giving the actual turkeys. Our method has changed. Our goal remains the same: to meet the needs of our neighbors. But we’re a small church, and we could use some help to make it possible for every family in our community to have a turkey for Thanksgiving.

“In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others,” (Romans 12:5). In this holiday season that moves so quickly from Halloween candy to Thanksgiving dinners to Christmas stockings, please remember Jesus’ love and care for all who are in need.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” —Mother Teresa

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