The Last Room in the Inn of the Year

“Isn’t this the fast I choose:
To break the chains of wickedness,
to untie the ropes of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free,
and to tear off every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?” (Isaiah 58:6-7, CSB).

The whole season of Room in the Inn flew by. It felt like almost no time at all had passed. In fact, stepping outside into the chilly drizzly night could have easily led to the conclusion that it was November and not March.

But we wrapped up the 2018-2019 season with a bang. The homeless men got treated to a a place to stay the night, a good meal, good conversations, an ice cream sundae bonanza and, of course, a Bible study.

Tom Woods spoke from Mark 12 about the scribe who asked Jesus what He believed to be the greatest commandment in all of Scripture. Not to trap or test Jesus, as the others had done, but out of sincere and authentic intent.

The answer Jesus gave was to quote the prophet Moses. Love God will your whole being and love your neighbor as yourself. These two are greater than all the sacrifices and offerings combined.

I couldn’t help but think about Isaiah 58. God doesn’t want empty rituals or hollow liturgy. God doesn’t want our religious activities and gatherings.

He wants us to love Him, and we do that first and foremost by how we love others, chiefly those who are the least lovable. He called us to go out to the orphans and the widows, the marginalized and the outcasts.

Room in the Inn has been a safe environment for me in which to serve the homeless and find myself being way more blessed than I could ever hope to bless anyone else.

I’m already counting down the days until next November so I can start Room in the Inn all over again.

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