— by Mark Avery, General Manager and Editor, Herald and Banner Press and Bookstore.
The night was cold and the lines were long. The homeless and poverty-stricken of the inner city were cold, hungry, and worried. With little to eat and no warm place to sleep, the prospects of a hot meal and a warm, clean bed made it worth waiting in line.
Inside the mission, preparations were underway for another night of ministry. The chaplain had studied and prayed in preparation for presenting the gospel. The cooks had spent much effort in preparing a meal that would warm and fill those hungry people who were waiting. The support team of volunteers had worked hard cleaning and taking care of countless details.
Why all this effort? These Christian men and women believed that by ministering physical comforts they could minister to the spiritual needs of these unfortunate people. The word was out. Anyone who was hungry, cold, or hurting could come and be filled, warmed, and helped.
Just as food, warmth, and comfort were available at the mission, God offers forgiveness to all who call upon Him. The invitation is not only to the rich, the strong, the accepted, but the gospel invitation is to all who will believe. The prophet declared that you could be forgiven, satisfied simply by coming to God in faith, confessing your need to Him.