Loaves and Fishes in Abundance
I am always surprised where I will find something about hunger and how we are called to help bring it [...]
Date posted: Sunday 29 November 2020
Reading the newspaper, watching television news, and pondering the weeks ahead as Christmas approaches, has me thinking about “P” words.
First and foremost is the pandemic which is escalating in our own country as well as in countries around the world. As we learn to live with lifestyles we do not consider normal, we are apprehensive and frightened as well as getting tired. We are prone to point fingers in all directions but our own and grumble a lot. We also are aware that we are not going to be at a normal anytime soon and that both scares and annoys us.
We also acknowledge that we are, most of us, people of plenty. We have plenty of food, plenty of ways to connect even if not physically, plenty of time to ponder and plan for the days ahead. Thanksgiving, although not celebrated as usual in 2020, was a time for us to reflect on our plenty as pure gift from God and reflect on what God asks of us in return.
“Perfect storm” was in a headline in my newspaper today referring to the hunger crisis in at least 20 nations today. The article carried warnings from U.N. officials of increased malnutrition and the threat of famine. Those officials said that without billions in new aid, there will likely be “famines of biblical proportions in 2021”. The pandemic, ongoing wars, and shrinking safety nets threaten people already dealing with both floods and drought in Africa and other parts of the world.
In the midst of this, we prepare for the birth of the Prince of Peace, the coming of Jesus as human into our world. What does this gift from God mean for us during this peculiar time? How are we called into partnership with God and our neighbors as we think about packages and pain at the same time? Can we help to provide promise for the poor as we use our passion and power to pitch in with purpose for and in the year ahead? Prayer and action are both positive ways we can work to help end hunger right now. An alternative holiday gift this year can benefit the local food shelf or provide food through ELCA World Hunger or Lutheran Disaster Relief. As we join in travel to Bethlehem, the “House of Bread,” to welcome the Christ Child once again, let us pledge and promise to work to fill the plates of those who live with hunger.