Have you ever really been hungry? For most of us the answer is likely no. I know I haven’t, I’ve been firmly rooted in middle-class America for my entire life (as far as I can recall, anyway). Surely most everybody reading this has lived much of their life with a firm sense of property, control, and stability.
But we are truly an elite bunch here in the United States. Our nation is, without a doubt, the richest and most powerful one in the world. For most of her residents, property ownership and three-square-meals per day are realities accepted almost along with life and liberty as inalienable rights. But sometimes we lose track of the fact that not everybody—even here in the United States—shares in this wealth.
In the scripture from Deuteronomy, we are instructed not necessarily to give up our well-being, but rather to leave our excesses behind to aid those who do not share it. Since most of us aren’t farmers nowadays, it’s hard for us to leave a bushel of grain behind in a field or leave some grapes in a vineyard so that some passing “foreigners, orphans, and widows” can pick them up. But despite this, we are still a nation of excess and there are certainly things we can do to obey this instruction.
Though we may be lacking that kind of raw food surplus in our homes, most all of us have a few extra dollars or a few hours of free time on occasion. These surpluses can be put to do God’s will and help those in need just as well as a bushel of grain, some extra olives, or those vineyard grapes.
Dear God, help us to realize that there are those in this nation and throughout the world who are poor and hungry today. Help us to remember them because when we feed them, it is like feeding your son Jesus Christ. Guide us in our lives Lord, give us the strength to do your will. AMEN.