Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Have you seen the news reports about the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa?  If you haven't there are about 10 million people who are on the verge of death because they do not have any food or water.  They are fleeing into refugee camps but for many of them it is too late!  It is being called the worst drought in the last sixty years.  My friend MaryBeth wrote a great blog post about it here.

How can I look at these pictures and walk away and just live my life as if this is not happening?  How can I walk into Starbucks and buy myself a four dollar cup of coffee and not feel convicted?   But how many times do I do just that?  How many times do I walk around like these children and their basic needs do not exist? Yesterday I was reading in Luke 11.  In verses 37-54 Jesus is talking to the Pharisee whose house he is at to eat. 

When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn't wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, "I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn't the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.
 "I've had it with you! You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God's love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.
 "You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You love sitting at the head table at church dinners, love preening yourselves in the radiance of public flattery. Frauds! You're just like unmarked graves: People walk over that nice, grassy surface, never suspecting the rot and corruption that is six feet under."  The Message

No more looking the other can I?  How can I claim to have the love of Christ in me but continue on without helping!

So we can do something about this!  MaryBeth had a great idea and it is here.  We are going to participate in  Give your Lunch to Jesus.  What if all of us gave up eating at our favorite restaurant or fixing a great meal and just ate pb&j  on Sunday, July 31st...think of the glory God would get because of our obedience to his word!   What an incredible picture it would be of the body of Christ doing what the body of Christ was made to do!  I hope you join us on July 31st!  There are so many great aid organizations out there but Compassion International and World Vision are two Christian organizations working to help the people suffering in this region of Africa.

“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?
7 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?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
   and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
   and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
   you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
   “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
   with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:6-11, NIV


1 comment:

  1. I've been praying for this crisis daily. Last week my husband and I decided to give all our grocery money for the week directly to provide clean water and food to these people. We've been eating a lot of leftovers and soup... but it has been such an incredible humbling experience. I don't want to end it with just this week! The pb&j idea is awesome too!