2 Kings 4: 8-37

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  • Ordinary 13A

    by Susan Fleming McGurgan
    Bishop William Willimon, who served as Dean of the Duke Chapel, tells the story of a pastor whose congregation became concerned about the plight of the homeless in their city. They could see the homeless, wandering the streets at night, sleeping in doorways, begging for food. "We've got this big fellowship hall downstairs," the pastor told her congregation. "Why don't we simply invite these homeless men to come spend the night here?" Why not? How nice of the church to do something for the homeless! The first night, fifty-five homeless men entered the fellowship hall. She said, "Now you take fifty-five homeless men off the streets and put them into a Methodist fellowship hall, you've got problems. First of all, we found out that there's a reason why many of them are homeless. Nobody wants them. Crazy, sick, offensive, malnourished, addicted. We had never actually met any homeless people. It was rough at first. Fights. A robbery. Somebody came down to distribute food one night and got roughed up. It was a mess.