Act 30: First Fruits

EPC Congregational Care, 40acts

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In the Old Testament, people presented the first fruits of their harvest to God in gratitude for his provision. It was choice produce; in short, the best! Today’s act was originally about food, specifically GOOD food and shared with others. But social distancing has created a whole new perspective on how we might share what we have with those around us. Basic items are still in demand after many bought far more than their share. How can we turn the tide and show selflessness instead?

If you’re able and healthy, start by contacting the more vulnerable people who are local to you that may need food supplies dropped at their door. You could add an extra treat to the basics to surprise them. Or drop a gift of food at your neighbor’s on the way back from the supermarket.

GREEN: For your Lenten Food Drive donation this week, raise the standard and buy a luxury item, instead of a tin or bag of flour.
AMBER: Let your church keep its rich tea fingers in the cupboard this week and supply cake to share at coffee time.
RED:  Throw a dinner party – push the boat out and invite some different people.

…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts… 

Acts 2:46 NIV

It all started because I wanted to give back to the hosts of my home group – incredibly busy, full-time working parents who generously opened up their home every week to a group of us. With such little time, it meant that we rarely ate together.

As a way of contributing and saying thank you, I started making home-made bread and cakes for us to share. I had no idea what I had started and soon I was on an amazing journey of discovery. First I explored the world of sweet breads and pastry, from the kanellägnd of Sweden to the churros of Mexico. This led me to entremets cakes: multi-layered affairs combining exotic flavours and textures.

I am semi-retired and now have a kitchen full of different cake moulds and equipment, and I can spend a bit of time each day building up different layers of mousse, jelly, cake, crumble and crunch, finished off with a mirror glazed marble coating.

The speed bumps to the home group were another challenge, but I have now perfected a finish which is both shiny and speed-bump proof!

That enjoyment in the task is something which, in my experience, God always gives you when he calls you to do a job. I love experimenting, so I have been able to explore a huge range of exciting breads and cakes which I love making and which the group enjoy eating – or at least so they politely say. Cake making is on hold for now but praise God that our group is still able to meet remotely on video call.

When we ‘break bread’ together, we spend time and grow in love for each other. Offering my very best is my way of expressing love for a group that has supported me through thick and thin.

CREDIT:
40Acts Challenge concept and content courtesy of Stewardship Services (UKET).


Chris Peacock

Chris’s professional career started in market research and progressed through advertising and marketing consultancy into senior management within the charity sector.

For over 30 years, his voluntary work has been focused on London’s homeless community.