Rice pudding. Fried rice. Rice balls. Spanish rice. Rice milk. Rice meal.
Cathy awoke Monday with her mind on ways she can cook rice next week. Most likely she is turning her creativity to beans next. No doubt people the world over find great ways to cook those two staples. Why? Because it's all they have! I read recently that the world's poorest 1.1 billion people live on less than $1.00 a day. 700,000,000 of them live in Asia and spend up to 40% of their daily income on rice, the majority of their caloric intake. You and I would spend a dollar on a candy bar without even blinking.
It's time we shocked ourselves into reality. For that reason, Stone Ridge Church is going on a 3-day diet the Monday-Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Rice and beans! We will distribute your food to you at worship services this weekend. The culmination of this restricted diet will be what we are calling our 1:17 Offering. 1:17? What's that? I'm glad you asked!
Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. Isaiah 1:17 (NLT)
You and I may want to do good, but it often takes more than wanting; it takes learning. Subsisting on rice and beans can help us learn. Then we can do more. We can help the oppressed. We can genuinely do something to care for orphans and widows. We can give. We can help those locally, regionally and internationally who are broken and hungry. 1:17! We will start receiving that offering on Thanksgiving weekend. Then we will give it ALL away to where the needs are.
You can choose to distance yourself from this reality or you can embrace it and ask God to speak to you. I hope to see you this weekend at Stone Ridge! It just might be your greatest adventure yet!