Tuesday, August 27, 2013

If You Spend Yourselves in Behalf of the Hungry

     An old penny postcard shows our church (Plymouth Congregational Church)
      as it looked many years ago.

I found myself both touched and deeply interested in the scripture reading at my church on Sunday. I carried the words about with me for most of the day (that is, in my mind), thinking about them. I continue to think about them this morning.
by Charlie Leck

After church on Sunday – a hot and sunny day here in Minnesota – I asked my wife to walk with me the block to the Starbucks, where I wanted to get a latté. She spotted a drugstore across the street and told me to go ahead and she’d meet me after making a couple of purchases. Outside the coffee shop a fellow was trying to bum people up for some coin. He looked hungry and I still had the morning sermon and scripture ringing in my ears. I gave him a fiver even though our church suggests not doing that and giving instead (under the heading “Give Real Change Instead of Spare Change”) to more significant programs for the homeless.

Scripture ring in my ears...
Even if you are not a regular reader of scripture, it does make sense to, once-in-a-while, allow one’s self to be challenged by these ancient words. It happens to me on occasion. It certainly did this Sunday when the pastor read the following words from Isaiah (58) so very beautifully…

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings."

For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

I am deeply concerned about the amount of hunger we have in America. It doesn’t seem right to me that a country so advanced, prosperous and capable should have hungry people in such abundance. Then, there is the greater world in which there is still more hunger. It seems so basic that we should be certain that no one is hungry – no one in the entire world. We solve such massive and highly technical problems. Why can we not solve this one?

Food shelves in your community (perhaps in your neighborhood or at your church) need you to support them. These programs have had a staggering few years of hard work.

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