“Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.” John 6:11-13
Feeding people was obviously a priority to Jesus. Too bad it isn’t to our government. The government would like churches and other nonprofits to take over the lion’s share of feeding the country’s poor. At Zion we try. We have a very active food pantry; every day of the week, individuals come to the church needing food and we load them up with cans of vegetables and fruit, a jar or two of peanut butter, a box crackers, and some other nonperishables. We do it without restrictions or income requirements and if you want to come everyday for food, you can. Often the recipients of our food are very grateful and sometimes they are like the crowd Jesus fed, they take the food and leave without a word.
We started a food pantry because it is just one way to model our ministry here at Zion after the ministry of Jesus– feeding the hungry was basic to who Jesus was. Something we need to remember when we vote. I’m not telling you who to vote for; I’m telling you to vote for a candidate that understands “feed my sheep”.
Do you know how your candidate stands on Farm Bill 6083? The House Agriculture Committee passed this bill last month and it may go before Congress as early as August. Farm Bill 6083 should be an urgent issue to those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus because it severely cuts food assistance to low-income families. It slashes the food assistance budget by 16.8 billion dollars and consequently eliminates 2-3 million children and elderly from food programs.
In the text for this week, Jesus sends a clear message–feed the poor. If you really want to feed the poor, then don’t vote for a congress that cuts food to little kids and old people. Find out what your candidate thinks about food to low-income families. See what your candidate has to say about the farm bill. Ask questions.
Don’t pray for a solution to hunger. Vote for it.