We live in a scarcity mindset. Every commercial tells us what we don’t have and why we need it. But this is a false way of thinking. We don’t live in a world of absence, we live in a world of plenty. As I was running this morning I engaged in a conversation with a homeless man who said he was trying to get enough money for a breakfast sandwich; ironically, I was running to a hotel with an abundant breakfast buffet.
As we have learned from our partners at Mid-Ohio Foodbank, the food desert of Columbus’ South Side is not the result of a supply problem, it is s distribution problem. There is more than enough, if we would move from competing to sharing.
Today, the Rethink Church organization of the United Methodist Church published the following article on food justice. I share this because it is well-written and articulates well the focus of the HEAL program at Community Development for All People. I encourage you to meditate on this scripture and ask how you can find God in sharing with others from a place of abundance.
Check out the full article at http://www.rethinkchurch.org/articles/hunger/its-not-a-matter-of-charity
According to the World Food Programme, over 840 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That’s about one in eight people on earth. Although globally enough food is produced to feed everyone, why are millions of people around the world not getting enough to eat?
Food Distribution by Liberia United Methodist Church and Global Ministries in Topoe Village outside Monrovia. Photo by: Julu Swen
People who don’t have “enough” are forced to make difficult decisions everyday: choosing needed medicine over food, and food over education. Most of those trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty never gain the traction to free themselves from poverty.
Throughout scripture, we read about the concern of God’s people for those in need. It was not simply a matter of charity, but of responsibility, righteousness, and justice (Isaiah 58:6-8; Jeremiah 22:3; Matthew 25:31-46).
Change is not easy, but it has to start with us. Just one.
Read more >> about why The United Methodist Church cares so deeply about food justice and what actions you can begin to take.
This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
-Isaiah 58:6-9, The Message (MSG)