Yesterday I read this very short story by Peter Rollins that felt to me like a punch in the stomach. It has been on my mind ever since; and today I received an e-mail from Tearfund asking me to take action to end food waste by e-mailing my supermarket. Outrageously, one-third of food grown is never eaten.
The story and the campaign tie together in a powerful way. Please read the story and click on the link below to take action. Thank you.
Jesus and the Five Thousand
(A First-World translation by Peter Rollins)
Jesus withdrew privately by boat to a
solitary place, but the crowds continued to
follow him. Evening was now approaching and
the people, many of whom had traveled a great
distance, were growing hungry.
Seeing this, Jesus sent his disciples out to gather
food, but all they could find were five loaves of
bread and two fishes. Then Jesus asked that they
go out again and gather up the provisions that the
crowds had brought to sustain them in their travels.
Once this was accomplished, a vast mountain of
fish and bread stood before Jesus. Upon seeing this
he directed the people to sit down on the grass.
Standing before the food and looking up to
heaven, he gave thanks to God and broke the
bread. Then he passed the food among his twelve
disciples. Jesus and his friends ate like kings in
full view of the starving people. But what was
truly amazing, what was miraculous about this
meal, was that when they had finished the massive
banquet there were not even enough crumbs left
to fill a starving person’s hand.
Please click here to take action with Tearfund
I’ve had the phenomenal privilege over the past six weeks to be part of a Sante Group with the fabulous Kate McCord, author of ‘In the Land of Blue Burqas’. A small group of us have met over the internet (using the App Join.me, it’s rather like a group Skype) and have used seven different prayer methods to journey to know Jesus more.
One of our prayer methods was to pray using a picture. First we were to read the passages in the bible about Jesus’ baptism. Then prayerfully find a picture that resonated with us and the story.
I chose this one. It is a photo of graffiti by Banksy, showing Steve Jobs as a refugee in Calais. Like Jesus and John the Baptist, Steve Jobs turned up where the authorities weren’t expecting him; he is the son of a Syrian refugee. John the Baptist and Jesus defied expectations too, they were unusual cousins. The religious leaders of the time denounced them and eventually killed Jesus. John didn’t survive either.
My time with Kate and the Sante Group has sadly come to an end now, it has been amazing, but she is starting several new groups and they are open to anyone to join them. I can’t recommend them enough, if you’d like to join one please take a look at this website and e-mail Kate, she will let you know when groups are about to start.
I have added a couple of posts arguing that Christians, American ones in particular (though I am sure we could all do better), should act in more solidarity with others, particularly the poor and underprivileged. Here are some bible verses to back up that position which talk of brotherly love (fraternity) for others:
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” – Romans 13;9
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. – 1 John 3:16
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. – Proverbs 31:8
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. – Hebrews 13:1-3
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? – Isaiah 58:6-7
I will add more as I come across them.