DAY 30: Hunger
How Complicated Is Feeding 5,000 People?
Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand...
It's tempting to think that people in the world are hungry because there is a shortage of food. Isn't that why, as little kids, we were told by our parents to, "Clean your dinner plate, there are starving children in Africa!" Did you ever then sarcastically reply, "Great! Then send 'em these green beans!"
The disciples were sure that there was a legitimate shortage of food. After all, five thousand people can hardly feast on five fish and a couple loaves of bread, right? The problem was that the disciples were looking at it all wrong; all they could see was what they didn't have. What the disciples weren't seeing was what they did have-Jesus-the ultimate renewable resource.
May be we are looking at what we think we don't have rather than what we do have. There's a great book called World Hunger; Twelve Myths by Frances Moore Lappe that suggests that there's plenty of food in the world. Here's something to think about from the book: "India ranks near the top among third world agricultural exporters. While at least 200 million Indians go hungry, in 1995 India exported $625 million worth of wheat and flour and $1.3 billion worth of rice (% million metric tons), the two staples of the Indian diet." The same is true of the United States and many countries. We have more to give than we imagine or care to see.
What do I think are the causes of hunger and poverty? What other causes might there be besides what I'm familiar with?
Great provider God, we know that you have given us what we need to survive. Help us see the truth behind why children and adults go hungry. Amen
Do a little research. Go to the ELCA World Hunger Program, Youth Challenge², or www.foodfirst.org Web sites. Look into some facts behind world food productions and hunger. Share what you find with your congregation, youth group, school classes, etc. Then ask, "Now what?"
contributed by Nadia Bolz-Weber