Once again, Willow Creek Church in Barrington, Illinois, leads the way in modeling for other churches. Their noble act? Sending Christmas gifts to every inmate in Illinois. The church’s volunteers are ensuring that every single inmate in the state of Illinois will receive a special Christmas gift bag.
According to an article on RelevantMagazine.com, founding pastor Bill Hybels told the church: “I follow God’s son, Jesus Christ, who was blindingly clear about how I should engage with prisoners,” he told the church. “If I had passed away at 55 despite all that clear training and additionally because I’m a pastor, I would’ve had to explain to God that I didn’t pray for prisoners, that I had never visited one, I had never lifted a finger to help prisoners in any way.”
Willow Creek Church is living out this Scripture from Matthew 25:31-40.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “
And this act of love and support is nothing new to Willow Creek. In fact, churchleaders.com reported on their act of service in…
It’s nice to see that Willow Creek Church is in it for the long haul–year after year–to show love to the least of these.