Matthew 25:40 ESV – And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

     I volunteered to provide the Mission Moment on Father’s Day but was needed to operate the church video projector on that Sunday morning.  Randy R. was kind enough to cover the Mission Moment in my stead.  Thank you, Randy. 
     I thought I might share here some of what I had intended to share on Father’s Day.  In fact I am able to share more here, absent of the worship service time constraints.
     In June Meridian Avenue collects for the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) special offering.  As I considered what I might say about OGHS on Father’s Day, I thought about my own father.  My father was known throughout the small ranching and farming community where we lived.  There were two primary reasons so many knew him.  The first was that he was a mechanic who worked on their ranching and farming machinery.  The second was that my father often volunteered around the community.     My dad was the town Santa Claus for nearly 40 years.  As a young child I didn’t think that Santa Claus could talk because he wouldn’t speak when I was near him.  He didn’t want me to hear my father’s voice coming from behind Santa’s beard.  For many years he spent Christmas Eve visiting several family homes who had asked that Santa distribute gifts to the children there.
     During the 1951 flood my father, with others, helped deliver food to stranded families and railroad workers by boat.  During one of these deliveries he fell into the water and was swept away by strong current.  It was presumed that he had drowned but some railroaders were able to rescue him, pulling him into their railroad bunk car which was surrounded by the flood water.  Three days would pass before the community knew he had survived.
     While I lived at home I often accompanied my father as he spent his free days mowing lawns for others, pumped water out of flooded basements, performed maintenance on the local Fire Department equipment and many other things too numerous to mention.
     My father left a legacy of helping others.  It is also a legacy of our American Baptist Churches to help those in need.
     I have at times gone on mission trips where OGHS monies were at work.  I have witnessed the hope, and real assistance, that our gifts have provided. Thank you for your gifts to OGHS.

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”  Shannon L. Alder