Tag Archives: bread

a prayer for new vision

Thank you, O God, for the wonders of your creation. Thank you for the perfection of the world which your grace has provided for us. Thank you for your constant and sustaining presence in our lives. Yet, even as we praise you for your goodness and your mercy, we must ask your forgiveness, as well.

Forgive us for taking your perfect creation for granted. Forgive us for wantonly destroying the irreplaceable  beauty that surrounds us. Forgive us for  our unrelenting greed for more and better while ignoring the cries of our family who have little or nothing.

Grant us new vision, O God. Open our eyes wide enough to see our world even as you do. May our hearts be melted with the grief you feel for those that are forced to needlessly suffer want in a world of plenty. Help us to love each other, even as you love us. And may you so fill us with the miracle-working power of the Holy Spirit that our hunger for justice  would force us to act on behalf those of our family whose hunger for bread overshadows all else.

Let your justice fill the earth, O Lord. And grant each of us the grace to be a part in making it happen. In your Son’s name. Amen

 

if any man is hungry

If any man is hungry, this is both a religious and a political concern, and out of a religious concern for one created in God’s image, political means must be devised for ensuring that everyone gets enough bread — which is a suitable definition of the art of politics. —  Robert McAfee Brown The Spirit of Protestantism 1961

Brown writes that hunger is a religious concern. I think it if far more a spiritual concern. How we deal with hunger determines the depth of our discipleship and is a real indicator of just how vital our spirituality actually is. If there is no real care, compassion and ministry with those of our family lacking their daily bread, then our spirituality must be treated as suspect and is superficial at best, and at worst, a total sham.

However, Brown is absolutely correct that we must ensure the political will to empower the poor and hungry with the basic right to provide themselves food. The lack of political will  among global leaders to seriously address ending hunger is one of the single greatest obstacles to ending hunger in our lifetime.

 

“And flesh and blood so cheap!”

 

Happier were those pierced by the sword than those pierced by hunger, whose life drains away, deprived of the produce of the field. – Lamentations 4:9

The words of the Prophet Jeremiah echo loudly today as we witness the brutality and senseless violence in South Sudan. The echoes can be heard in the headlines as the world’s leading relief providers have already started warning of an even uglier tragedy beginning to unfold in that young and reeling nation.

Famine is coming to South Sudan. Unless immediate response is mounted we are being told to expect the starvation, not of dozens of children, not of  hundreds of children, not of thousands of children, but to prepare for the unnecessary death of tens of thousands of innocent South Sudanese children.  These are the children who will  starve to death within the next six months, pierced by hunger, unless we act to prevent it.

Already malnourished and weakened, these children cannot survive the agony of their life draining away as it will during the hunger season. Once the rains begin the hope of these children, the life of these children, will wash away.

I am reminded of the words of Thomas Hood, the 18th century English poet. In The Song of the Shirt he wrote:

“Oh, God! That bread should be so dear!
And flesh and blood so cheap!”