Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. … Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.
Matthew 25: 34-36, 40 (NRSV)
This week, as I met with the other religious leaders of the Bethlehem Interfaith Group, I found myself participating in a critical conversation about food insecurity. Even before the pandemic, food insecurity was a significant challenge to so many people in our area and throughout our nation. Yet the economic realities of the pandemic have only heightened those challenges and brought countless more into the struggle with food insecurity. Too many families have to choose between paying for medicine and paying for food. Too many families don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Too many families are stranded in food deserts, unable to access healthy and nourishing foods. Too many families — in particular, too many children — go to bed hungry in this nation of abundance.
As God’s people, we seek to meet these needs by providing food to soup kitchens, cold-weather shelters, food pantries, and individual families. These efforts are critical and life-changing… and yet still, we know we’re putting a band-aid on the problem. The real problem — the underlying problem of food insecurity — remains.
So today, I’m focusing my prayers on the gift of food. I’m giving thanks for those who work tirelessly to make food available to the most vulnerable. I’m praying for those in positions of power or influence to make food justice a priority. I’m asking for the Spirit to lead us on paths that will lead to food security for our neighbors. And of course, I’m giving thanks for the food on my own plate.
What are you praying for today?
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Be people of prayer, friends… and remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
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