Monday, January 23, 2012

World Hunger Awareness Day One

It’s no surprise that much of the world suffers from hunger. It’s estimated that one out of every five people on earth live on less than $1.25 per day. Half of the world lives on less than $2.50 per day. And four out of every five people live on less than $10 per day.

These numbers may be shocking, but the number of hungry people close to home might be more surprising.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.3% of Americans live in poverty.  Texas has the second highest poverty rate in the nation at 18.8%, and ranks 6th worst with one in every four children living below the poverty line.

As Christians we are given a mandate to help the poor and the hungry.  Jesus’ first sermon recorded in the Gospel of Luke addresses why He came:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the op bgpressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.   (Luke 4:18-19)

Of all the prophecies Jesus could have quoted, He chose this one from Isaiah 61.  It’s obvious that bringing good news to the poor was a central part of Jesus’ message.  He embraced the captives, the blind, and oppressed and sought to meet them in their need.

Also in the book of Luke, Jesus multiplies loaves of bread and fish among a crowd of hungry listeners. (Luke 9:10-17) He also offers the parable of the compassionate Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) and the parable of the spurned host who invites “the poor and maimed and blind and lame” to his banquet (Luke 14:15-24).  The latter parable reinforces Jesus’ advice to the Pharisee who had invited him to dinner: “When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you” (Luke 14:14).
uy every opportunity given to us to love, to help, and to give. This week we have an opportunity as a church to give, as His followers lets do all that we can to follow in His steps and help the needy around us.

A special offering for world hunger relief will be received this Sunday, January 29th.

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