Posts Tagged ‘ Hunger ’

Be The Good News!

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. Luke 16:19-22 NRSV

Jesus’ story pointed out the chasm between the comfortable lifestyle MP900446698[1]of the Pharisees and the grave needs of the poor. I don’t know what motivated this rich man. He obviously didn’t want to know anything about the pain just outside his walls. That may have been a convenient way to live, but it was ultimately foolish, as Jesus pointed out.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in myself, or my own pleasures, that I too miss the struggles, the needs, and the very real pain that’s all around me. The story of Lazarus reminds me how foolish I am when I refuse to see or do anything about the pain and suffering just outside my door.

But I have to confess, as I read this story I often think it is talking about someone else, someone other than me. After all, I am not rich. But I do enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, and I there are times I think more about maintaining that lifestyle, than the needs of hurting people.

MP900427635[1] Commenting on Jesus’ story, Jill Carattini writes, “There are far too many…Lazaruses who are still waiting, waiting for men and women of faith to be the good news they proclaim.” Her words remind me that I am to be the one who, like Jesus, answers the cry of the needy, stands with the grieving and comforts the sick. I am supposed to be the good news I proclaim!

There is nothing wrong with feasting sumptuously. There is something wrong with self-indulgence that completely ignores the opportunity to love and touch the world with the living truth of Jesus Christ. Wise people see and respond to the needs around them.

Why not pray with me today: Lord, help me to be the good news I proclaim!

Advertisements

Love Multiplies

For the Advent/Christmas season, each Monday’s post will look at the love that came down at Christmas. We will explore what Jesus’ love offers us and asks of us.

…he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Matthew 15:36 NRSV

There were thousands of hungry people around Jesus. Jesus saw their need. He wanted to satisfy their hunger.

MP900443250[1]The disciples saw the crowd’s need too. But they only had a few small loaves and  a  couple of fish. They thought there was no way they could feed all the hungry people Jesus wanted to feed.

They were right. Such a great a need would require boatloads of food. But Jesus’ love has a way of taking what we have and multiplying it, until the needs are met.

Jesus can multiply what we have!

So the hungry ate until they were satisfied. Notice that bread didn’t drop from heaven. Bread came from the hands of those who chose to obey Jesus Christ!

MP900184901[1] Even today, Jesus’ love is able to take what you have and use it to do God’s work. That work might be to fill hungry hearts, to witness to wandering souls, to encourage the hopeless, to comfort the distressed, or to feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. Whatever the need is, Jesus’ love is able to take your resources, talents, knowledge and experience and multiply what you have to meet the needs of a lost and dying world!

Jesus can use you to touch a hungry and hurting world.

The love that was born into the world at Christmas finds needs and then fills them. Let that love use you today to feed a hungry world!

Find a need and fill it today!

Prayer:

Giver of every good and perfect gift, take what I have and use it. Take my hands, my feet, my talents, my voice and the resources you have blessed me with. Then multiply it all, so the hungry hearts around me may be filled! Amen.

Enough copy

Hungry?

What are you hungry for? Love? Meaning? Purpose? Direction? Safety? Joy? Peace?

Everyone of us has a hunger in our hearts. The only way to get rid of hunger is to feed on the kind of food that satisfies the kind of hunger we have.

The Good Shepherd knows his sheep. That means Jesus knows what we need and what we hunger for. Jesus knows us and the longings of our hearts.

Not only are we known, we are feed. Jesus gives the bread of life and living water that satisfies the longings of our souls.

Shepherd

Follow him today. Feast on his truth. Drink in his love.

Let his goodness and grace take your hunger away!

Hungry?

Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” John 6: 26-27 NRSVCB004872

Jesus had a crowd of new followers. The 5,000 that he fed the day before didn’t want to let him get away. They traveled all the away across the Sea of Galilee to find him. When they finally found Jesus, they questioned him about how he got there.

Jesus seemed to ignore their questions. He cut right to the heart of the matter. Jesus let knew that the real question was not how he got there, but why were they there? Why had they traveled all the way across the lake?

Why were they there?

Well, Jesus answered his own question. The crowd came because they wanted more food. Maybe they had reasoned, “If Jesus could feed us yesterday; then he can feed us again today.”

If so, they had found the best deal in town. Being with Jesus was like being at a free all you can eat buffet! What more could a crowd want?

Well, they should want a lot more. But Jesus knew that their hearts were focused on their stomachs more than MP900313735[1]much of anything else. Today we might call these people worldly or carnal. They don’t look to their spiritual needs as much as the needs of the body. They ignore the weightier matters of the soul.

Jesus wants all of us to get more than just bread from him. He has spiritual food that can turn our lives upside down! So Jesus told the crowd to work not only for bread that passes away, but for the things that he alone can provide, which give eternal life.

Jesus’ bread turns lives upside down!

Is it possible to have a full stomach and to still be hungry? Is it possible MP900442283[1] to be appallingly rich and to still want things? I think you know that the answer is yes.

There is a hunger and a dissatisfaction that goes far beyond our stomachs. Possessions don’t satisfy this hunger. Food doesn’t take it away. It is a deep gnawing that comes from our soul’s longing for God, for Jesus’ love, and for the peace that he alone gives! So Jesus told the people to seek God, to work for the bread that comes from heaven, and to strive for true satisfaction.

Jesus wants to give us the bread of life. He wants to meet our deepest personal needs. He wants to put God’s love into our hearts, and to give us the peace that passes all understanding. He wants to illumine our minds with the truth, and empower our hands to do the work of God. Jesus wants to lead us down the road to eternal life!

Jesus wants us to have everything that God offers!

Today, you can enjoy Jesus’ true bread. Look to him for the gifts of God that make life worth living! Enjoy the abundant supply of his grace. Feast on Jesus’ love, and drink his living water!

Prayer:

Bread of the world, I have a hunger in my soul that only you can satisfy. Feed me with the bread of eternal life. Then help me to continue eating your bread and drinking the living water you give, so I may always have all that I need. Amen!

Bread Blessing copy 

Eat the Bread of Eternal Life, Today!