Thought for Food…

I try to eat lunch for less than $2 per day and I thought that was a pretty tight budget.  I know the extra dollar a day I allow for 4 cans of Coca Cola is a luxury but I really don’t like water or coffee.  A couple of breakfast bars adds another 75 cents taking me up to $3.75 by the time I’m heading home from work.  When I get home, I make a normal dinner, you know, something like meat and a salad; so that’s about another $3 and change making my total food budget for the day come in around $7.  Unless I go out; then it’s much higher like $12-15 for dinner pushing a single day up to around $20.  So, maybe I average around $10/day, not bad, right?

I thought so until our Bible study group volunteered to help ‘Feed my Starving Children’ (http://www.fmsc.org/) where, in a college gymnasium, we packaged meals that will feed children who really need food.  A single meal costs only 17 cents to produce and provides all the nutritional needs of a child for the entire day.  In other words, my average day’s food budget would feed a child for nearly two months. 

When we were done, the thought of fasting for the rest of the night crossed my mind but that’s not really a good group bonding/building activity, so after we finished about half of our group walked to a nearby restaurant and had a meal together.  Things have changed since I was in college, at my college there was just a cheap cafeteria (and maybe fast food) but this place was fairly expensive (for example they served Sushi, where are these kids getting money for this?  I mean it was crowded and in my time we scrounged for gas money but that’s another story).  I’m not a Sushi fan so I had a hamburger and fries.  Now, if my check (including my wife’s Sushi) was average, then as a group we spent $133 (including tips) to feed seven people one meal.  Bounce that number off the per meal cost for the meals we packaged that night ($133/$0.17) and you’ll find we could have fed 2 children for an entire year if we had fasted that one night and donated the money we would have spent.

Luke 10:25-37 (English Standard Version)
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

Is that the answer to the worldwide hunger problem, ‘show them mercy’?  The Samaritan obviously had some extra money or he could not have done what he did, and we also have extra money (we really do) since we could eat cheap once a month and feed a starving child.  So, there’s no good reason that people starve for lack of food.  The US spent about a trillion dollars (that’s one dollar more than $999,999,999,999) fighting an, at best, questionable and in my opinion immoral war that made us enemies all over the world instead of declaring war on poverty, which could have stabilized much of the world and made many friends for the US.  It would also help with things like immigration since people who are doing well generally stay where they are.

Heavenly Father,
You are great and powerful, and have granted us mercies we will never understand.  We are a sinful people who are undeserving of all the gifts you have given us.  At this time we give thanks for all that you do for us and ask that you guide our leaders and each of us as individuals, giving us wisdom to act like the Good Samaritan and to understand that what we have is provided for us by the Lord.  That our lives would have no meaning without the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross, that all of our daily activities amount to nothing more than chasing the wind and life everlasting comes only from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  This we pray in Jesus name.
Amen

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