Until All are Fed
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress; he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.
Psalm 107: 1-9
Beginning with the fruit in the Garden of Eden food has captured the attention of humankind. Today, our planet accommodates a steadily increasing number of God’s children, brothers and sisters to each of us.
The production, distribution, and marketing of the food that sustains our lives are incredibly complex. Many, many people have been involved in the items of food that are on our tables. What has come from the field and farm? What has come from the orchard, the grove, or the vineyard? What grew on the range or in the pasture? Who put it in the store? Who put it in the oven or on the stove? No matter how our food is grown, harvested, distributed, and prepared, or by whom, we have incredible variety and abundance.
Look beyond your table for a moment to those tables in other parts of the world. Maybe you have visited some of the places, seen some of the faces in your travels or via YouTube. The people gathered around the tables speak different languages. They eat different foods. In many places you find bountifulness. In others, you see little to eat on the tables. In some places even the tables are missing.
Not too long ago we saw on the news a few bits of food, warmed by a small fire alongside a railroad track, refugees walking nearby, adults carrying children too young to walk, old people almost too weak to walk, railroad tracks leading north from somewhere in the south of Europe. In other places in our “now” world, those with the strange sounding names, similar scenes play out: people are gathered around very little food or are trudging, trying to find, reaching for something, anything to eat.
Brian McFarland wrote the words, and many contemporary artists have sung them:
How long will we sing?
How long will we pray?
How long will we write and send?
How long will we bring?
How long will we stay?
How long will we make amends?
Until all are fed we cry out,
Until all on earth have bread.
Like the one who loves
Each and every one
Until all are fed.
We invite you to reflect on these words as you move through the days of your Advent preparations.