Pastor’s Message – April 2020
“Be a Repairer of the Breach: One Great Hour of Sharing Offering”
The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering will be received on Palm Sunday and Easter. The theme this year for this wonderful opportunity to give is “Repairer of the Breach.” The theme is derived from the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah.
11 “ And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.” (Isaiah 58:11-12)
Israel was always threatened by surrounding nations, and both the Assyrians and the Babylonians caused great physical destruction in the land of Israel over the course of the history of the nation. The prophet, Isaiah, assures the inhabitants that even though destruction has come or will come, God will raise up individuals who will be “repairers of the breach.” In other words, after spiritual and physical disasters, God will not allow His land and His people to be completely ruined by the destruction. The repairers of the breach will make the difference and turn the destruction around by offering construction to repair the ruptures made by the invading armies or forces.
Each one of us has an opportunity to be “a repairer of the breach” by contributing to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering this Lenten season. The offering is close to a one third to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, one third to The Hunger Program, and one third to Self-Development of People. But, the actual figures are 32%, 36% and 32% respectively.
When a major disaster strikes, the money you contribute to One Great Hour of Sharing goes into assisting victims of disasters. Some of the common disasters experienced in our land and around the world are: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires. My cousin, while residing in Florida a few years ago lived through Hurricane Michael in 2018, which struck in her area. The devastation was unbelievable. Also, I had a minister friend who went out to California to help with victims of fire that basically took out the entire neighborhood. As for me, I was in a very small tornado while vacationing with my wife, Audrey, in Florida this past winter. We were not injured, and the damage was very slight. Perhaps you know of someone who was hit with disasters, or you went through a disaster. Be assured that One Great Hour of Sharing comes to places such as I described to bring relief to those who were devasted by natural or man-made disasters.
The second part of the One Great Hour of Sharing is The Hunger Fund. In the African nation of Somalia, 5.4 million are “food insecure” and 2.6 million are displaced. Let’s stop and make some comparisons between Somalia and America. With the nation concerned about the impact of Corona, we see many going to the store to stockpile supplies and food. Yet, in other lands stockpiling is not even possible due to insufficient supplies and lack of stores and lack of purchasing power. But, the good news is that The One Great Hour of Sharing is helping people in Somalia and other poverty areas of the world to enjoy a daily meal.
The third part of the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering is called “Self-Development of People.” This section might be likened to the old phrase “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” The Self-Development of People attempts in many ways to give to those who are struggling financially some skills, resources and opportunities to discover self-sufficiency. The money given to Self-Development helps to teach people to fish.
At this Lenten time, please consider becoming “a repairer of the breach” by giving to The One Great Hour of Sharing.
Pastor Ken Chorle