I’ve been serving at Bethel for a little over three years and most every Sunday morning I’ve noticed that there is a plate of cookies in the parlor for folks to enjoy before Sunday school. For three years I’ve known about the cookies, but I never stopped to ask myself who is responsible for putting them there. I assumed someone probably bought a few cookies from the store and put them out each week. Or maybe several people took turns putting them out? I didn’t know. I recently found out that these cookies aren’t store bought cookies at all and they are made fresh each Saturday evening by one person:
Marie Justice. Who knew?
Marie grew up in Midlothian and has been attending Bethel since 1952. She’s been making these cookies for so long that she cannot remember when she started bringing these tasty treats to Sunday School. I asked Marie why she started bringing them and she said, “It’s just something that I thought I could do and it would help people feel welcome.” I love that attitude. It’s a reminder that we all have a gift to offer and no gift is too small.
Romans 12: 4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”
Recently I had someone share with me that for many years he came to church for what he could get out of it. He said he now realizes that Church should be, in large part, about what we can give. When he said that, I thought of Marie and her cookies. One of Marie’s gifts is hospitality. She gives that gift each week as she humbly offers her cookies as a form of welcome to the Lord’s church. I thank her for her service and for the example she offers us. Perhaps there is a gift or talent that you’d like to present to our church? May I encourage you to offer your talents and gifts because I believe when you give your gift you actually become a recipient of something greater than you give: the blessing of Christ. May God bless you and may God bless Bethel Church.