Friday, April 04, 2008

The Bread Basket

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She kept coming into her own kitchen offering to help. The women who worked at her sink said, “Go sit down . . . get some rest.” She needed relief. Besides her job and running her household, her family had kept a vigil at bedside of a terminally ill parent.

Now, because of the parent’s death and funeral, her household “runneth over” with out-of-town extended family. She and her husband had little energy to expend. So, women from their church “commandeered” their kitchen and cooked for their large family.

Folks who share food join Christ in ministry. On one occasion in an isolated area, a hungry crowd numbering in the thousands gave Jesus’ disciples an opportunity to wait on tables.

Of course, this became a picnic on the ground not formal dining. Aware of the crowds’ hunger, Jesus said to his disciples, “You give them something to eat” (Mark 6:37). On that day, Jesus’ mission was at least threefold –- teaching the crowd, providing supper, and clothing his disciples with aprons for this no-charge event.

The Lord of Harvest had a storehouse full of fish and bread and his disciples became his middlemen, pantry workers in the food chain blessing.

This spring in the USA, folks who file an income tax return will receive a one time economic stimulus from the government. The government is counting on citizens’ greed or need. Some who receive a check will need to buy food. Others’ avarice will guide their spending.

If refunds aren’t a must have for food or other necessities, why not donate the money to a charity and let them stimulate the economy with their needed purchases. Food banks, orphanages or churches would love to boost the economy through your donations.

One of my pleasures is cooking for others. Whether it’s homemade sourdough bread, chicken and dumplings, lemon meringue pies, or old fashioned tea cakes, giving the gift of food is a really pleasant thing to do, in person or through donations.

In March of this year, the world population reached 6.6 billion. God gave us an abundant earth, a big bread basket, but many go hungry. God calls compassionate people to be the middle link in the food chain, the gap between God’s benevolent hand and the poor. Jesus’ words echo into 2008, “You give them something to eat.”

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