An article in the November 2016 issue of Living Lutheran magazine described the growing popularity of the Little Free Pantry, a grassroots program that was begun by Jessica McClard, a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville, Ark. She took the idea of a concept that already was present in the marketplace, Little Free Libraries, and made it her own. She saw the need in her community for staple foods to be provided for the poor and needy and built a mini-pantry in her neighborhood and posted it on Facebook.
The idea caught on, and now there are Little Free Pantries popping up in neighborhoods all over the nation filled with boxes of cereal, canned good, peanut butter, crackers, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Check it out at Facebook.com/littlefreepantry.
I am always amazed by the ability of our Christian brothers and sisters like McClard who take an idea and run with it, which motivates others to do the same. “For me, my faith is alive when I’m out living Christ’s mandate for how we are church in the world, ” McClard said.
So what can you do to live our Christ’s mandate to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome the stranger in his name?
It does not need to be anything fancy. It can be little, like the little pantry. It can be free for the receiver, like the free food. It can be like something that is already out there, like the free little pantry was like the free little library.
You don’t have to re-invent the wheel here. You just need to keep your eyes open and look around at the needs around you and connect those needs with solutions that you can do on your own or that can be done through your church or in your neighborhood.
The important thing is the take action when the Spirit moves you with an idea. Don’t just assume someone else can do it. You can do it. God gave one person in Fayetteville, Ark.,the strength to put her faith into action and it took off, and you can too. Who knows what Christ can accomplish through your simple actions to serve others.
By doing such things, we are reminded, we are doing them for Christ: ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers you did it to me,“ Christ says in Matthew 25:40.
Let Christ be in your sights as you serve.