In yesterday’s sermon I talked about Shobi’s Table, one of our ministry partners in the St. Paul Area Synod.  Shobi’s operates a “pay-as-you-can-café” out of a food truck here in the metro Twin Cities.  You can imagine any ministry context that involves food and hospitality might be of particular interest to this former restaurateur.  I recently received a letter from Deacon Kari Olson, the mission developer who leads this ministry and a real “foodie” of a kindred spirit.  I want to share her letter with you…

Dear Peter,

The truck kitchen is all set up, and we’re ready to open the serving window in the Frogtown neighborhood.  On this cool fall day, there are already five people standing in line ready to get their lunches.  We’re excited because it’s cool enough now for soup season, and soup warms you up from the inside out.  Today, it’s Tortilla Soup with Chicken!  We’ve also got hearty burritos with our house-made hot sauce, a crisp cucumber salad, a green salad, honey wheat bread, and an apple crisp to top it off.

Danielle looks out the window to a line of several regulars and a couple of new folks.  Nancy is almost always the first in line, grabbing lunch for herself and her daughter.  Our dear Vietnamese ladies are behind her, and we know they’ll be excited for the salad.  We’re keeping an eye out for Deb and Bill, as we haven’t seen them in a couple weeks and want to hear the latest.  We take and fill orders, catching a bit of how everyone is doing and learning new names.  Handing them food, there is an exchange of love inside the bag and out.

This is a community growing around a table.  Shobi’s Table has the privilege to bring delicious, nutritious meals to three St. Paul neighborhoods every week, making them available to anyone and everyone who comes to the big blue truck.  This is a place where everyone can experience the dignity of choosing their meal from a really good menu, no matter what they pay.

This community is built not only on those who come to lunch but includes volunteers who come to chop mountains of vegetable and wash dishes, and the wider community of those who generously give to ensure these quality meals are available to all.  This community includes you.

We need each other around the table.  When you give to Shobi’s table, you are a part of God’s work in the community.  Come to the table, for there you will see the face of God.

In deepest gratitude, Kari

The words from Isaiah that reiterate God’s promise that a messiah will come for God’s people.  Further, we’ll know the messiah has come because all will be fed at a the same banquet, regardless of how much money is in their pockets.  I give thanks today that Shobi’s Table is here to remind us that God has come and shows up in this amazing meal, served curbside in our hometown.  Thanks be to God.

Note: If you want to join me in making a gift to support those who gather at Shobi’s Table, you can click here or just designate “Shobi’s” on your gift directed through Prince of Peace.  There’s lots more to learn about Shobi’s on their website, including where to find the truck and enjoy some lunch.

May God’s peace find you this day. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray,

God, you are the host and the meal.  We give thanks for how you gather all your children around the table to be fed and loved.  Continue pouring out your love through the window of Shobi’s Table and their big blue truck.  May their witness inspire each of us to come to your table and to invite others along.  Amen.