Folklore tells a tale of some travelers who stop in a village, bringing nothing with them but an empty pot. They fill the pot with water from a stream, add a stone from the riverbed, and start a fire. Passers-by inquire about what they are doing, making stone soup they say…if only we had some vegetables, it would be perfect! Carrots, potatoes, and onions are added. The scene is repeated with meat, then seasonings. The travelers successfully convinced all the villagers to contribute something to the pot, and in the end, they all are able to share in a delicious meal that they worked together to prepare.
A similar story can be told within our church.
There’s no way a single stone could feed anybody. But one of us can start the fire. Another may have a pot. Another, spices. Another, nutritious ingredients. Yet another, a spoon and the ability to bring it all together. Another, a ladle to serve.
Each of us, has the ability to say-
I can’t do it all, but I can do my part.
I can serve in some small way.
I have something I to offer.
Each of these efforts alone may not go far. But together, together we are a force.
A force that will bust out of our church basement walls and impact our community. Our village. Our world.
You see, God provides the babbling stream. God provides the stone. He provides the stockpot. The wood for the fire and the flame.
He’s making sure that we have all the ingredients we need. He’s providing a ladle to serve and enough bowls to share. He’s using us to provide sustenance to people who are hungry. They don’t even know what they’re hungry for yet, but the aroma is in the air.
He’s making the soup. Stone soup.