Soup Kitchen

11/02/09 | Posted by Poppy

If Jesus were alive today in one of the UK’s inner cities where would he be? Somehow I can’t see him as a city banker with a big bonus and a flash car. Perhaps he might be working with the poor. He spent a lot of his time with the outcasts of his day so maybe he would be working in one of the soup kitchens run by one of the churches or the Salvation Army. But would he be getting into trouble?

image
 Soup

I came across this news report here where Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, comes in for some flack from the Daily Telegraph about using religious language in a speech to a Christian group called the Evangelical Alliance. Good on her I thought. If you are going to talk to people then it makes sense if you speak the same language. But when you read what she said then it becomes clear why Jesus in his soup kitchen might be finding himself in difficulty.

It seems that the government is very keen to encourage the voluntary sector to provide services in those areas where state provision is weak. Ms Blears says that ‘Religious charities deserve to be recognised for their astonishing work, no matter how big or small they may be’  and it would be very sensible for national and local government to work with groups who have experience of working with those on the margins of society. But Ms Blears goes on to say that faith groups should not proselytize. I had to look the word up as I hadn’t heard it for a while. My online dictionary says that it means “to try to persuade someone to change their religious or political beliefs or their way of living to your own.”

So Jesus, with his ladle in his soup kitchen is fine if he just keeps handing out soup, but as soon as he talks about why he is handing out vegetable soup and not down the pub with his mates, he could be in big trouble.

It’s a tricky one.

The poor are always with us and as the credit crunch hits more and more people there are more people who need help. Religious charities have the expertise; government has the money to fund projects but some serious negotiation about boundaries will have to take place before Jesus in his soup kitchen can tell people that the reason that he is there. He is holding a ladle because the person with the bowl, who will be eating the lovely soup, is important and loved by God.  If he says that is he proselytizing? I don’t know.

Would it be upsetting to be told that you are loved for who you are?

Not for what you earn or what car you drive or how big your bonus is, but for the real you underneath all the masks and fronts that we put up to the world.

Is that scarey? What would your response be?

And all from a man with a ladle and a bowl of soup.

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I totally agree with Poppy.  However, a certain church in America, the Westboro Baptist, would view Him with suspicion.  They have a warped vision, that the open minded visitors to this site, will be burning in Hell.  They have more or less said that John chapter 3 verse 16 is a lie.  Anything that comes from Christ’s mouth is 100% truth.

#1. By Lisa on February 14, 2009

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”

People have always wanted to second guess who it is that God loves but that seems to be a bit pointless in my humble opinion. If we get on with loving our neighbour and passing on the love that we are shown through the life of Jesus then that is a good start.

#2. By poppy on February 14, 2009

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