By Leonard Lauriault
Some of our church members drive 50+ miles each way on Sunday. Until a few years ago, they’d go home after morning worship, have lunch, and immediately begin the drive back for evening services. Several other families drive about 25 miles each way. Consequently, we moved our afternoon service to 1 pm and have a potluck dinner between services for those who wish to stay. Many of the locals also usually stay.
You know how potlucks go. The name has its meaning because you just never know what’s going to be carried in by the other participants.
When it snowed on February 23rd, our attendance was considerably lower and, since the weather seemed to be worsening, we cancelled the afternoon service. But because some people brought food anyway, we went ahead with the potluck. Eleven people stayed representing five households.
Now, a five-family potluck can be disastrous because of the possibility of having five desserts or some other imbalance in the “spread.” This time, though, I was pleasantly amazed at how well-balanced the meal was vegetables, pastas, meat, and a dessert. Almost immediately, 1 Corinthians 12:18 came to mind (God has arranged the parts in the body just as he wanted them to be). While that refers to the members of a given congregation, I realized that this assurance even extends to something as simple as a fellowship meal when the body parts are few in number.
I called that an “assurance” because it falls under the promise that God will supply all our needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19), which is almost immediately preceded in the Bible by, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).” Paul made those statements because he had found the secret to contentment (Philippians 4:12; Colossians 1:24-27).
We often think of the Philippian congregation as being composed of wealthy members, and there may have been a few, but this congregation was one of the Macedonian churches that Paul commended for giving generously despite their poverty (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). Paul and the Philippians had learned that contentment comes by giving oneself first to the Lord and then relying on him to meet our every need.
Learning to rely on God is no potluck. Rather, it frees us of the worry that robs us of peace that’s among the spiritual blessings for Christians (Matthew 6:25-34; John 16:33; Philippians 4:6-9; Ephesians 1:3-10, 22-23).
I was concerned about what would constitute the Sunday potluck fare (but certainly not the quality or quantity of what would be available). I’ve always known that God was in charge and he works everything out for the good of his people, but he used this simple potluck meal where barely more than two or three had gathered to remind me that “everything” means even the smallest detail (Romans 8:28; Matthew 18:20). It’s never potluck when God is in charge.
Do you see God in the small things in life? That’s often how he approaches us (1 Kings 19:9-13).
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org