I grew up going to church three times a week, but I was in college before I heard anyone say that Christians have a responsibility to feed the hungry. What could be more obvious? If someone you love was starving, you would do everything you could to save his or her life. The gospel Jesus taught makes it clear that someone God loves is starving.
What do we look like from God’s perspective? Imagine that you have two children. One child is trapped in a country where hard-working people are starving. The second is in a wealthy country and has more than enough. What would you think if the second child did not try to save his or her sibling? Would you wonder if the child who does not give is a real Christian? How is this different from how God views us?
At the close of worship this Sunday we will give an offering to feed the hungry in Cameroon through the Mission School of Hope. (Click here to see how our gifts will be shared.) In general, our responses will fall into three categories.
- “If only I had read The Plymouth Blog I would have known this was a Sunday to stay home in bed. I don’t come to church to hear ‘If you are a Christian, you will care about these people.’ I refuse to feel guilty because I have more than other people.”
- “I can’t think about starving children without breaking down and crying. I feel awful about it, but the problem is so overwhelming. My heart breaks every time I think about it, but what can I do?”
- “I wish I could come up with a good enough excuse not to help, but if I listen to Jesus at all, then I have to admit that the face of each starving child is also the face of Christ. As hard as it is to give, it is even harder to imagine looking Jesus in the face and explaining why I didn’t give.”
The statistics on hunger are overwhelming. 800 million people around the world are hungry. Every 4 seconds someone dies from hunger. About 24,000 people die every day from hunger-related causes. Most of the victims are children.
The statistics are so overwhelming that it is possible to forget that our offering will make a real difference for real children in Cameroon.
The Talmud says: Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.
On Sunday, you and I have the opportunity to do the right thing. Here are the details on how you can make a difference.